There are places I pass by every day on my way to somewhere else. They are part of the landscape that I see on such a routine basis that I hardly notice them. A good example of this is where I-405 barrels through Southwest Portland, near where Barbur Boulevard ends and the Portland State University campus begins.
There are a couple of hotels in this area that seem suitably placed in their urban surroundings. But at the moment I am more curious about the four motels (hotel + motorist = motel) here, because they seem less suited to the setting, and because some of them have been part of the landscape as long as I can remember. (Here is a map.)
The other motel East of I-405 is the City Center EconoLodge. It is nondescript, but I see it out my bus window nearly every day.
The two motels just West of I-405 are visually more interesting, but in a pedestrian no-man’s-land. One is the City Center Travelodge on SW 4th Avenue between Caruthers and Sheridan.
I noticed the wood carving on the sign pole. Maybe it used to be a tiki bar?
The person behind the desk here was very friendly. I inquired about the fish in the tank because I had never seen any like them before. He said they are not real. But they swam around like they were real – I’m not sure how that works.
The fourth and final is the 6th Avenue Motel located at SW 6th Avenue and Sherman. The sign is stunning, and even more so at night. The manager of the European Auto Centre next door said that a lot of veterans stay here when they are being treated at the VA just up the hill.
The brick walls are dotted with pastel-colored shiny enamel pieces.
They use a color scheme that wouldn’t have occurred to me:
The newer red letters saying “Wi-Fi” used to advertise something else:
Kitchen? Pool? View? I wonder.
Location and price clearly are the main appeal of these motels. I have not had the opportunity to stay in one. If you have, I would enjoy hearing about your experience.
I hope you have enjoyed your visit.