Matchbook ca. 1930s
Cambridge, Massachusetts -- 540 memorial Drive

The earliest directory address for the Cambridge location on Memorial Drive lists it at 529 Memorial, and a matchbook shows it to look perhaps somewhat like the Andover Howard Johnson's

A later postcard shows the Restaurant after its Howard Johnson's days as the Yankee Clipper with an address of 540 Memorial. Moreover it shows the location with a more exaggerated giant "entry-cupola" than is depicted in the earlier matchbook drawing.

During the 1970s a nearby hotel at 700 Memorial Drive was converted into the Cambridge Motor Lodge/Restaurant/Red Coach Grill.

Note the "Join us at Johnson's" on the matchbook above. Prior to World War II, Howard Johnson's Restaurants and Stands were often referred to and advertised as "Johnson's."
Architectural Record: February, 1942; page 66
In the early part of WWII, HoJo's and other roadside establishments remained open and competitive. However War rationing quickly brought an end to American domestic mobility. Shown above, the Cambridge Howard Johnson's had just received a remodeling. Under the direction of architect Joseph Morgan, the location had received a new exterior of Masonite weather resistant fiberboard.
Postcard circa 1970s: Courtesy of Dan Donahue

Photographs 2002: Courtesy of Kevin Carroll
Cambridge, Massachusetts -- 555 Concord Avenue
This Cambridge area Howard Johnson's Restaurant on Concord Avenue dated from the 1940s and was eventually converted into a Ground Round. Its original interior HoJo's layout was completely altered when it was converted to the GR concept. Only its exterior and especially the central roof line reveals the building's true heritage.
Photograph 2002: Courtesy of Larry Nelson

Howard Johnson's Scoop: September 1949; pages 1 & 4
Cambridge, Massachusetts -- Harvard Square

Opened in August of 1948 by Karl Adams of Weston, Mass., Harvard Square at the corner of Boylston and Brattle Streets was an intown "store-front" location. Mr. Adams was a graduate of the nearby Harvard Business School and in 1949 opened another Howard Johnson's Restaurant in Portland Maine.

Likely the only head of state to have worked in a Howard Johnson's, French President Jacques Chirac worked at Harvard Square as a fountain boy during the summer of 1953 while he attend classes at Harvard's Business School. Howard Johnson's had been the McDonald's of its day proving employment to students and others needing both short and long term jobs in the food service industry.