by Michael R. Allen
Following up on my article “Motels in the City of St. Louis”, I briefly wanted to show the largest motel built in our neignbor to the east, East St. Louis. The Holiday Inn at 657 E. Broadway, located just east of the seven-story Broadview Hotel of 1927, was built in the late 1960s. The motel’s amenities included a swimming pool and restaurant with cocktail lounge, in addition to close proximity to the cluster of interstates 55, 64 and 70 around downtown East St. Louis. This modern motel was built amid Model Cities-funded redevelopment of the central city. The large-scale building removal that was part of East St. Louis’ redevelopment efforts is evident in the above postcard view’s capture of large swaths of verdant green grass.
The Holiday Inn’s two-story, U-shaped mass of hotel rooms stood until a decade ago. By then, the motel’s last owner had closed up shop, and the place was an abandoned curiosity. However, the one-story, brick-faced and largely windowless restaurant building remains standing and in use as a banquet center. The trademark Holiday Inn sign’s twisted trapezoid replacement is as memorable as its predecessor.