Monday, June 2, 2014

The Beachcomber Motor Lodge Then & Now

Here's an undated postcard of the Beachcomber Motor Lodge, which was located right next to the Howard Johnson's on U.S. Route 6 (West Erie Avenue) just west of Leavitt Road. I don't have an exact opening date, but I believe it was around 1959, as that is when it first appeared in the phone book. (I'm sure I'll find the Grand Opening ad on microfilm eventually, when I'm looking for something else.)

Here's the 1960 telephone book ad that promoted the Beachcomber. It's interesting that it includes a small illustration of the Howard Johnson's but doesn't mention it by name.

By 1962 the phone book ad had changed to include an illustration of the Beachcomber's lobby building with its unique overhang/carport. It also referenced the HoJo by name.
I love the font that was used for the logo in these early ads. It really gives the place a relaxed charm similar to what you would expect from a beachfront motel out on the California coast. 
The Beachcomber kept its original name until around the early 1990s, when it was renamed the Erieview Motel.
The motel's lobby has undergone some structural changes since the place opened, which robs it of some of its 1960s coolness. Here's the "now" shot (below). 
(Actually the shot is from last fall. I've snapped shots as recently as this past weekend – in fact, I seem to grab a shot every time I drive by it – but this shot still matches the time of day of the vintage postcard better than any other photo I've taken.)


Anonymous said...

The place looks and sounds awful now. Lots of criminal activity news stories about it. I wonder if the pool is still there?

Anonymous said...

Dan, Whoever did the signs back in 1960, must still be doing them today! ( DIREC TDIALING ) AND ( FREE DIGIT A LCABE LOW RAT ES$)

I would think that, if you are making a Post Card, you would want the pictures to be perfect. even in 1960.
Bill N

Wireless.Phil said...

Those are stick on plastic letteres.
The owner is a foreigner.
I went there once to get away from my ex girlfriend's drunken sister just to get some sleep.

Stay away! VERY far away from that place, it was in the news alot for drug problems, etc.

Wireless.Phil said...

They chopped off part of the car port roof!

Wireless.Phil said...

Anyone notice the deceptive add photos?
In the top photo its 3 story, then goes to 2 story and in reality its a row of one story buildings.

Photos from other locations!
Lets sue!

Anonymous said...

I Googled "Beachcomber" and "Lorain" and found this wonderful website. In the Summer of 1973, Ford transferred my Father from the Detroit area to the Ford plant in Lorain/Vermilion.
Our family lived at the Beachcomber for 6 weeks until our new house in Amherst was ready to move into. I remember the Beachcomber for those colorful room doors, the pool, and the HoJo restaurant. Was there also a Burger chef across the street? It was a scene right out of Mad Men. There were other Ford families staying at the Beachcomber, and during the day, the kids would play in the pool, while the Ford wives sunned themselves and ordered Club sandwiches to lunch on by the Pool. The kids would sneak into the restaurant and order single scoops of peppermint ice cream during the afternoon
On most evenings, My Dad would take all of us to our house under construction to see what had been done that day, and then we would go by the ice cream stand in Amherst for a cone. On Saturdays, we might end up having dinner at McGarvey's in Vermilion or the Old Prague
Special times.
Many years later, when my mom was quite ill, and after I had long since left Ohio, I was back to look after my Mom, and we drive by the old Beachcomber, now dilapidated. She smiled and asked me if I remembered when we stayed there.
Thank you Dan for your website.

Dan Brady said...

Thanks for posting the wonderful comment. You’ve captured a moment in time very eloquently!

gracie said...

Loved reading your memories of the Beachcomber! The restaurant there now is Chris's, and when I'd eat there, I'd look over at the remnants of the old motel and think how it looked like an old movie set from the 50's-- I loved imagining what might have taken place there in it's hey day! you've done that for me now! Thanks! They've torn it down now--but I've got your memories :-)