December 22, 2016
Our last Epstein Throwback Thursday for 2016 takes us back to 1957 for the opening of Chicagos Airliner Motel located at 6245 S. Cicero Avenue. Built for $1M ($.8.5M in 1016), this fully air-conditioned hotel was located across the street from Midway Airport and featured 66 guestrooms and parking for 70 cars. Epstein was the architect and engineer for the Airliner which was developed by Georgis & Associates, who in the late 50s also operated another Hotel called The Aladdin, which was located at 5559 W. 63rd Street.
The Airliner, located on a 250 x 110 foot site, featured reinforced concreate construction and an exterior faÃ§ade comprised of two-tone blue fluted porcelain enamel, thermopane windows which were also tinted blue, and since the motel was within yards of Midway Airport, ample sound proofing.
Matchbook Cover for the Airliner
The Motel also featured two two-story wings built on stilts which allowed for guest and visitor parking underneath the rooms. The center of the Airliner structure housed offices, lobby/reception and a restaurant/bar. This last component, the dining facility, was known as The Airliner Steak House and Cocktail Lounge and featured the cuisine of Chef Charles Trahadis, who at the time was one of Chicagos leading restaurateurs.
An early rendering of the Airliner - love the forest-like surroundings around Midway!
As you might have expected the Airliner Motel is no longer standing having been swallowed up by Midway Airports expansion. On the site where the motel once stood now sits a lot reserved for Rideshare Parking.