19 thoughts on “N Interstate Avenue, 1967

  1. Looks like a free postcard you’d get at the front desk. First full view of a car on the right: 1962 Mercury Monterey.

  2. Old motels of this style are being purchased by cities and counties for low income and/or homeless housing. Is the Palms still there? I feel like I’ve seen it not too long ago.

  3. From an oregon live article on neon signs in Portland

    ” “It’s one of the favorite lights in my life,” Bhanu Patel says of the neon sign towering outside the motel he purchased in 1997. “It’s my heart.”

    The Palms sign stands a staggering 50 feet tall on North Interstate Avenue, an electric totem forcing all who pass it to take notice. Or even to stop and stare in awe. Folks from around the world swing by the Palms to have their picture taken in front of the set of glowing trees and the little monkey that reaches for a coconut, Patel says. He believes the sign was built in 1952. The Palms has also been the set for a number of indie films. Someday soon, the owner hopes to augment his sign. “My one dream is to have a couple more monkeys to catch the coconut,” he says.

  4. James Michener wrote historical fiction based on the lives of people through the course of time that all lived at the same particular location on earth. Imagine the stories that could be generated by the police records from this address!

  5. Speaking of 1967, “the summer of love” I once had a co-worker (2010) who told me this motel was the location of his first encounter with a prostitute. He claimed they did a lot of business there.

    I don’t know about motel trends in Oregon but I once had another co-worker who owned a small 25 room motel on California’s northern coast who said that motel ownership was popular with people of East Indian descent; of which he was a part. He claimed that a majority of hotels in California, both big and small, were now owned by Indian families.

    I remember taking a few long trips across the country as a kid with my folks stopping at motels like this. Seems like we’d always check-in in the late afternoon and the first thing I’d do was change into swim trunks and head for the swimming pool. Spending time in the pool as it got dark was always great because all of the cool pool lights would come on. I’d spend hours in the pool and come out with my hands and fingers looking like prunes. Then, it was back out onto the road in the hot sun for another day.

  6. Both the Oregonian & Oregon Journal had stories on the opening of The Palms on August 4th & 5th, 1957. The Palms was built and furnished at a cost of $600,000 by a group of investors including attorney Kenneth Kraemer and Harry A. Herzog and was described as the largest luxury type motel in Oregon. The Palms had 52 one and two bedroom units, a managers apartment and a lobby with a fireplace, restaurant and cocktail lounge. The Palms also had a 20 X 40 foot swimming pool that had a deep end of 11 feet for high diving. Large rooms had individual controls for heating and cooling, colored telephones, 21 TV sets in the rooms, tiled bathrooms, with the two bedroom units having two bathrooms.

  7. In his 2015 book “Deep South” Paul Theroux has a running theme of checking into motels where the owners are Indian- and if memory serves, their surname is Patel. One explains that Patel (if that is the name) is a common name in the caste of inn-keepers in India. I thought that was interesting.

  8. According to Ancestry.com:

    Patel Name Meaning

    Indian (Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka): Hindu and Parsi name which goes back to an official title meaning ‘village headman’, p??tel in Gujarati, Marathi, and Kannada (where it is pa?tela). It comes ultimately from Sanskrit pa?t?takila ‘tenant of royal land’. Among the Indians in the U.S, it is the most common family name.

    —— Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

    [The question marks are on the original webpage for Ancestry, too. Probably some diacritical mark the computer couldn’t interpret.]

  9. Mel’s Motor Inn was another one of these new style modern motels nearby. It had the “Mel’s Top Deck Restaurant” which was ultra modern and very cool. There were a number of these motel’s built along the old Oregon Route 99, now Interstate avenue through north Portland, (the main highway through Oregon before Interstate 5), most all of these motels were built in this area just prior to the Oregon Centennial Fair. The fair took place in 1959 where the Portland Metropolitan Expo Center is now.

  10. Chris is correct…before the “Minnesota” freeway was built, Interstate was the Portland-Vancouver connection and motel row. On the far right, that’s a cherry tree and the restaurant behind was the Cherry Tree Inn, later a steak house. The white building (left) was the Cummings motel, even older than The Palms. All “pre-Kaiser’ days.

    Grew up in the Overlook district just to the west. Great memories.

  11. every thing still looks original from the early 60s expect for the vinyl windows they where probably
    aluminum framed windows back in the day !

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