Vintage Postcard – Alamo Plaza Hotel Courts
Alamo Plaza Hotel Courts
“Catering To Those Who Care”
Dallas, Texas Raleigh, N.C.
Beaumont,Texas Savannah, Ga.
Houston, Texas Atlanta, Ga.
Tyler, Texas Columbus, Ga.
Oklahoma City, Okla. Memphis, Tenn.
Baton Rouge, La. Chattanooga, Tenn.
Shreveport, La. (2) Nashville, Tenn.
New Orleans, La. Knoxville, Tenn.
Jackson, Miss. Little Rock, Ark.
Gulfport, Miss. Indianapolis, Ind.
Pub. by Hinman, Golfport, Miss.
Made by Dexter West Nyack, N.Y. 906-B
This delightful vintage postcard was mailed June 28, 1962 using a 3 cent purple liberty stamp to Mr. & Mrs. Herbert Semsch, 1418A Huron Avenue, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. It reads:
Dear Grace and Herb,
Stayed here in Memphis, Tenn. Now seeing Miss. & Alabama & home. Take good care of the bulletin & church program. Attended a [unintelligible] church of 4500 members.
From wiki: The Alamo Plaza Hotel Courts brand was the first motel chain in the United States of America, founded by Edgar Lee Torrance in Waco, Texas in 1929. By 1955 there were more than twenty Alamo Plazas across the southeastern US, most controlled by a loosely-knit group of a half-dozen investors and operating using common branding or architecture.
Wiki further notes the specifics and sad demise of the Memphis location: Opened October 1939, 48 units with individual garages. Renovated 1957, adding air-conditioning, carpeting; eventually included 42 separate buildings, a landscaped courtyard, and a 20-by-50-foot swimming pool. Demolished, now a used-car lot. Direct competitor to the original Kemmons Wilson Holiday Inn motel, 4941 Summer Avenue (built 1952, demolished 1990’s).
Shame, really. It reminds me of the Sandstone Motel in Battle Creek, previously featured on catobear.com. During the emergent car culture and the highway system, these motor courts just couldn’t keep up with modern hotels and larger chains.
Herbert Semsch passed away in December of 2012 (his obituary is here, with a photo). At the time of his death, wife Grace was still alive. According to the obit, Herb was a charter member of Mapledale Baptist Church where he served as Deacon and Trustee for many years, so the church program and bulletin would certainly be something he would work on.