St. Louis-Southwest
 --1130 S. Kirkwood Rd.

Begun as a stand-alone Restaurant, the Kirkwood Howard Johnson's was opened in 1955. The franchise was owned and operated by Harry G. Giessow who also owned and operated the Richmond Heights HoJo's.

After Mr. Giessow died in 1998, his son Gary who had worked in his father's HoJo's since 1961 maintained Howard Johnson's traditions and exacting standards until he sold the Restaurant in 2001.

The venerable circa 1955 Restaurant was modified in 1973 in order to accommodate its integration with Mr. Giessow's then new Motor Lodge. Note that Orange Roof tiles were utilized in the modified section above the Simple Simon and the Pieman, but that the tiles were removed by 2000. Moreover the 1993 photo below shows where there had once been a clock in the cupola's base--by 2000 an FAI era "Howard Johnson's" sign had been installed over its place.
Photo September 1993: Scott Sargent

Postcard ca. 1973: Kummerlowe Archive
Brochures ca. 1980s-'90s: Dan Donahue

With land available, Mr. Giessow expanded his Kirkwood Howard Johnson's into a complete and well-integrated complex in 1973. His Motor Lodge was a compact six story 114 guest room facility. While it did not feature a Gate Lodge, its drive-under canopy was trimmed with Orange Porcelain Enamel roof tiles!

No doubt fed up with the shenanigans of Blackstone-HFS, the Giesows canceled their Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge franchise in 1994 and renamed the property the Best Western Kirkwood Inn (recall that between 1986 and 2005, FAI franchised the Howard Johnson's Restaurants--thus the Restaurant remained a HoJo's even after the Motor Lodge was renamed).

Photos August 2000 & 2001: Kummerlowe Archive
Brochure ca. 1990s: Dan Donahue
Photo ca. 2000s: Phil Edwards
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