Dr. Patrick’s Postcard Roadside

Hotel Harris

The snazzy ‘60s graphics surrounding a lower-cased hotel harris floating in isolated, midcentury Modern splendor was the final chapter for a stalwart hotel that had been in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan, since 1844.

Starting out as the American House, the hotel was rebuilt in 1869. The left-side of the five-story part depicted on this postcard went up in 1904 and the right side replaced the older hotel in 1914. The lower three-story extension was completed in 1929. Those were good years for what was then the Park-American Hotel. It became the Hotel Harris in 1947 and despite the upscale Wedgewood Dining Room, the casual Cottage Inn and the loungey Cavalier Room, “Michigan’s Best for Food and Rest” was like so many other downtown hotels in the auto age, fading. The Harris closed and was demolished in 1968.

Hollywood Boulevard, 1962

When H.J. Whitley laid out Hollywood in 1903, booze and theaters were prohibited. But Los Angeles, which annexed the development in 1910, had no such restrictions.

Hollywood’s commercial district followed the streetcar line along Prospect Avenue, which after annexation became Hollywood Boulevard. The first Hollywood movie studio opened in 1912, and the boulevard was transformed in the 1920s with the opening of the Egyptian Theater in 1921, Grauman’s Chinese Theater in 1926 and the Roosevelt Hotel across the street in 1927. Opened in 1928, the Warner Theater at Hollywood and Wilcox was caught in this postcard view along with Jeweler-to-the-Stars, William Stromberg’s street clock. The Warner was outfitted with a 146-degree, three-projector Cinerama screen and was playing one of only two story-feature films made for the original process, “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm.”

Shady Rest Tourist Court

Years before the Interstates…

New Orleans bound motorists traveled down US 11 from Birmingham, Chattanooga and points north and on the eastern edge of the city joined the traffic of US 90 westbound from Mobile and the Florida Panhandle.Some of those who had enough of the road turned into the Shady Rest Tourist Court passing beneath the sheltered entrance and the spreading branches of a giant live oak. In the evening bugs filled the air, the C-spring porch chairs slightly less sweltering than the cabins.