Beautiful Photographs of Cheap Motels in 1970s America

“Working on the Baseball Photographer Trading Cards, traveling throughout the country, my girlfriend at the time, Alison Woolpert, and I would stay at some, shall we say, “economy” motels,” writes photographer Mike Mandel.

“We pulled into one in Texas on a wintry night and upon waking in the morning we realized that the sheets had not been changed after the visit of the previous motel guest. When we indignantly complained to the owner he shot us back a dirty look, “What do you expect for five dollars?” What we did expect was that no matter how shabby, beaten down or forgotten a motel might have become, there was always a motel postcard to be had: a memento of a one night stop, a promotional calling card, a free mailable note card to report back on the progress of a vacation to those back home.”

More: Flickr h/t: flashbak

“We would often take the back roads, sometimes follow old Route 66, and we would find those sad, forsaken motels that had been sucked almost out of existence by the newer corporate chains situated just off an exit ramp on the newer highways. We bypassed Motel 6, Travelodge and Howard Johnson’s. After all, their postcards were usually just the same design with a different address. But we’d go out of our way to stop at every independent motel we could find in hopes of finding a postcard that would be even more banal than the one we had just found down the road.”

“This led, inevitably, to my photographing the motels themselves: interiors, pool sides and architecture. The project was always there whenever there was an opportunity to travel. The postcards kept piling up. My only problem with the photographs was that I was usually shooting black and white film, which just didn’t capture the true flavor of the place.”

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave Your Comment Below

If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

Surreal Stretched-Out And Rearranged Portraits By Sakir Yildirim
Black And White Portrait Photos Of Celebrities Taken By Norman Seeff In The 1970s And 1980s
"Underwater Knee-High Girls": A Pphotography Book Devoted To Ladies In Knee-High Socks, In Water
Hottest And Most Grooviest Photos From The Past That Will Redefine Your Style Statement
Cat Cafe in Osaka, Japan
People Believe They’ve Noticed Art References In Popular Movies, Share Side-By-Side Pics On Twitter
Iceland From Above In Breathtaking Aerial Photography By Gabor Nagy
Sign Of The Times: Protest Signs That Sum Up The Sixties
Animal Carnival in Rio de Janeiro
Creative & Beautiful Photos Of The Dogs At Home During The Lockdown By Ria Putzker
The Daily Adventures of a Strange Soul
Nursing Home Dresses Senior Citizens Up in Famous Classic Movie Roles for Calendar
The Guinness World Records Winners in Colorful Shots by The Photographer Ryan Schude
The Most Appealing and Performing Electric Cars of 2011
Selection Of Amazing Photos From The National Geographic 2015 Photo Contest
Photographer Captures Abandoned Second World War Fortifications Slowly Being Reclaimed By Nature
Photographer Pierre-Louis Ferrer Shows Viewers The Beauty Of France, Shooting The Country In Infrared
Drug Awareness: Rare And Haunting Photos Show Drug-Addled Men And Women Lying In The Opium Dens Of 19th Century America
Scenes From A Tiny World Where Everything Could Happen: Photograher Turns Everyday Objects Into Fun Miniature Worlds
Photographer Jeremy O'Sullivan
Winners Of The Guardian Readers' Travel Photography Competition - January 2018
Reuters Pictures of the Year 2014, Part 4
Photographer Captures Couples Who Switch Outfits, and the Results Are Hilarious
The Qajar Series, Inspired by The Studio Portraiture First Introduced to Iran in The Late 19th Century
Gloomy Images From Inside The Wreckage Of Car Crashes
Before & After: Photographer Captures Musicians & The Toll Of Performing
This Adorable Series Documents A Toddler And Her Pup Growing Up
This Artist Turns People Into Aliens By Drawing Faces On Their Backs
2017 National Geographic Travel Photographer Of The Year – People
Smithsonian Wilderness Forever Photo Contest