Saturday, September 30, 2006



ERIC ZORN, CHICAGO TRBIUNE - Historians agree that, in 1925,
Pasedena-based architect and developer Arthur Heineman decided to create
a "motor hotel" hybrid between rustic auto camps and conventional
hotels. But he found that the words "motor hotel didn't fit on his sign,
so he scrunched them together. The Milestone Mo-Tel (later the Motel
Inn), located in San Luis Obispo roughly halfway between Los Angeles and
San Francisco, had little garages right next to several dozen bungalows
that rented for $1.25 a night. The combination of easy access to rooms
and to the highway, reasonable prices, privacy, even a little anonymity,
caught on in the lodging industry even though Heineman's plans to
establish a chain of similar establishments died during the Depression
of 1929.

The Motel Inn is barely a shell anymore. A pair of dilapidated
mission-revival style structures are guarded by a chain link fence
dressed in barbed wire and yellow caution signs. Through that fence I
read the stained brass plaque affixed to the old office lobby asserting
the historical significance of the site. It should be a shrine. A
museum. A monument to the great, exuberant, liberating, convenient,
homey, seedy, memorable, storied, idiosyncratic and increasingly blurry
phenomenon of the motel.,



HISTORY NEWS NETWORK - Charlize Theron will play a pregnant bystander
who loses her baby in Seattle's WTO riots. Susan Sarandon may take the
part of a newscaster sympathetic to the protesters. Academy Award winner
Theron is set to star in a major motion picture about the 1999
anti-globalization protests against the World Trade Organization that
rocked Seattle and put our tear-gas-drenched town in an international

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