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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SPANGLES: THE CONTINENTAL CIRCUS

This Is Florida: 1955

This Is Florida: 1955

December 1955. "Motel Wigwam Village, Orlando." Featuring Tile Baths and All the Fish. 35mm Kodachrome from the Look magazine assignment "What Is Florida?" View full size.

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Cabins and Motels

When I was about ten (66 years ago!), when we traveled we never stayed at a motel until my mother went into it to see how clean it was, and if she decided we could stay she always Lysoled the toilet before we used it.

Inspiration

For the Cozy Cone Motel in Pixar's film "Cars"

George Washington Slept Here

Well maybe George Washington didn't, but I did.

As a 10-year-old who loved anything cowboys and Indians, I bugged my parents repeatedly to stay in this motor court when we visited my granddad every year in Orlando.

My folks finally relented and we stayed there. After a few days of slanted walls, bad wood paneling, and antique crappy hotel furniture, my parents said "Never again," and moved us on to a "name" hotel.

Open at the Top

"Air Conditioned" Wigwams, or so the sign says! What'll they think of next?

C'mon Carl --

at least they're fireproof.

Long gone -- but the Internet remembers

Other cool pictures of this motel (including pictures of it being built) are here.

http://orlandomemory.info/places/wigwam-village-motel/

It's interesting Look thought these emblematic of Florida, since the guy who came up with this lived in Kentucky, and franchised the concept.

The walls are closing in

The Wigwam Motel on Route 66 in Holbrook, Arizona is very much alive and well. I stayed in unit number one several years ago. I just wish I had brought my Roy Rogers pajamas to complete the time machine illusion.

Ceci n'est pas un wigwam

Those are teepees, not wigwams.

Dad believed in AAA wholeheartedly

All our family car trips in the 1950s kept us kids with our eyes peeled for the AAA sign on tourist cabins and motels. I wish I was there with you now. It was a sweet simpler time with us turning the pages of our AAA TripTik, Mom navigating and Dad driving our 1953 Plymouth.

This postcard looks exactly like one of our stops on the way to Williamsburg, Va. It was our family out in the world -- strange foods, strange soap, coin-operated radios in the motels.

You just don't see those anymore

The free-standing enclosed phone booth, that is.

Conical Constancy

Apparently these were all over the place. I wonder if you could collect Wigwam Weward points.

Demolished February 14, 1973.

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