Thursday, June 13, 2013

Holiday Inn Motel – Part 4

The Holiday Inn Motel as seen on a vintage postcard recently on Ebay
Eventually, having the identical name as the national motel chain became a problem for the Holiday Inn Motel on U.S. 6 between Lorain and Vermilion.

The Holiday Inn Motel did continue to show up in the Lorain phone book through the November 1969 edition. But by the early 1970s, the motel had become the Holiday Apartments. The restaurant also received a new name: the Holiday Steak House.

Why? Well, Brian Finley recalled that Frank Konik – his step-father's father – had become "entangled with the other Holiday Inn."

"He settled with the corporate boys & changed the name to simply "Holiday" and left the Inn part out. The restaurant was the Holiday Steak House, which my step-father operated until late 1974," stated Finley.

While the Holiday Apartments name lasted well into the 1990s, the Holiday Steak House received a new name around 1978: Friar Tuck's. It became Our Place around 1980.

By the early 2000s, the Holiday Apartments name disappeared from directory listings. At some point after that, the property became the McKenzie Woods apartment complex.

Today the McKenzie Woods sign is down (literally on the ground) and the place seems deserted (below).

The same view as the vintage postcard
But for many years, it was an oasis for weary travelers along Routes 6 & 2, as well as many of the hardworking contractors who built the Lorain Ford Plant.

Special thanks to Brian Finley for his help with this post.

I made many a visit out to the former motel property since the first week of April trying to get some good photos for this post. That's one reason the post was delayed for so long – I kept driving out there at different times of the day trying to get the best lighting.

Another reason I delayed this post is that I didn't have a good scan of the vintage motel postcard until three days ago, when one was emailed to me out of the blue by ex-Lorainite history buff (and postcard collector) Paula Shorf. (Thanks again, Paula!)

Anyway, here are some more photos of the former Holiday Inn Motel and Restaurant, shot from early April through last weekend. It sure looked like a cozy place to stay in its heyday when it was a motel, or to live at when it was apartments.

And finally – one thing I neglected to mention in all this is the pioneer cemetery right next door to the east of the former motel property (below).

It deserves its own post (later), so I won't lump it in with the motel history. But I appreciate the emailed links about the cemetery sent to me by local archivist and historian Dennis Lamont and Bill N.


Mike and sometimes Rachel said...

A word about Mary Konik, Dick's wife and my mom. She lived in a house just below the restaurant for about 35 years, before coming to live with my family in St. Paul. She was considered a leading personality along that stretch of highway. Dick gave the Holiday its spirit of fun, but Mary, along with Elaine Jensen, Dick's sister, gave it a sense of style. Mary was involved in the Brownhelm Junction and Lorain County historical societies. She saw herself as a guardian for all the young people who worked at the restaurant, and she didn't brook any funny business. I say this because many restaurants today do not meet this same standard of caring for young female employees. Mary Konik was a great hostess. She and Dick held MONSTER parties at their place down the hill. Dick later started an excavating company, which he claimed to enjoy more than the restaurant. Hundreds of people came to his funeral -- all owed him a debt of some kind. They were great people, and I miss them!

Daniel Konik said...

You're right about the apartments being a clean, comfortable place to live. My parents treated all of the tenants like family. My Dad owned it until his death in April of 1997. We auctioned it off to a business consortium. I lost track of the property after that. Sad to say, it is abandoned and in sad shape now. Thanks for the old postcard and newspaper ads. I had never seen those. Your journal of my family is very much appreciated.

Dan Brady said...

I'm very pleased that both of you enjoyed the posts! It makes it all worth while.

Thanks for the nice comments. If I can ever locate a Grand Opening ad for the motel, you can be sure that I'l post it!

Anonymous said...

Is this place up for sale?

Dan Brady said...

I haven't noticed a "For Sale" sign in front of it as of last weekend.