Postcard circa 1960s
Denver-Reading, Pennsylvania -- 2180 N Reading Rd
AKA Reading-Lancaster

Built in 1959, Denver was an early-standard Motor Lodge and Restaurant Complex which unlike lodging facilities built today sprawled out in a park-like setting and was adjacent to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Long lived the Motor Lodge remained a HoJo's until 1992 and has remarkably survived relatively intact as one the last examples of its particular type.

Photograph March 29, 2007

Image from The Pennsylvania Turnpike: A History, by Dan Cupper: page 43
Satellite view © Microsoft Corp.

Above: When the property was initially sited, it was convenient to a nearby Turnpike interchange. The interchange itself was an original 1930s design which was eventually overwhelmed by increasing traffic and a new "modern" one came to replace it a few miles further to the east. Investigating the site after the highway realignment creates the impression that it was an odd placement for the property, but having knowledge of the original road layout easily explains why the Howard Johnson's was built where it was--and perhaps why it remained relatively unmolested for so long!


Below: Spotted by Mark Ihrie in the Antique Showcase at Black Horse (an adjacent antique store owned by the former Motor Lodge's now deceased proprietor) with a $700 price tag, the pricey artifact came from the former Restaurant and had been displayed on its front during the 1970s and '80s.
Photograph 2003: Courtesy of Mark Ihrie

Photographs March 29, 2007

As the Black Horse, the Restaurant became a ridiculously over priced eatery with a quasi-English theme. Inside, the Dairy Counter area had been completely redone as a lounge or bar, but the counter itself had been removed during the late 1970s and the space was made into a small dining room during the Company's misguided efforts to increase check totals (the bay window was added at that time also). Interestingly the main dining room contained most of its circa 1980 Landmark Supply booths, tables, and chairs. Moreover ceiling lattice marked where the many sided HoJo's salad bar had been.

Note how the Orange Roof was bleeding through!

Above: Recycled after the conversion, the former circa 1970s "Roof-logo" street sign advertised the Black Horse.