April 14, 2016
This week's Epstein Throwback Thursday adds a little early 60s 'Technicolor' to our traditional TBT classic black and white posts. Why? Possibly because winter won't let up here in Chicago and were looking for any excuse to inject much needed vibrant Miami Dolphins-esque hues in our lives, or it could be that we couldn't resist the kitschy charm of this week's TBT spotlight star the Crown Motel, located in Lansing, Illinois. Whatever the case, what you see here in its full color glory is an Epstein designed and engineered two-story motel completed in June of 1962 that was located at the northeast corner of Torrance Avenue and the Kingery Expressway (aka I-80/94).
The Crown Motel featured 40 units, a coffee shop, and an outdoor heated swimming pool with an overlooking sun deck. The building also included open staircases and balconies, although our original plans for outdoor fireplaces on both floors sadly never materialized. In addition, the Crown's guest rooms included 23" color TVs, phones, and the 2nd floor units could also be accessed by elevator. Lastly, one of the main calling cards of the Crown, besides the pool, was the fully air-conditioned Six Pence Grill restaurant that featured 'fine foods, cocktails and meeting rooms.'
If you find yourself in Lansing and go looking for the Crown, sadly all you will find is an empty lot. But we still have these photos of a bygone-era in hospitality, as well as a touch of early 60s Americana, to garner a few smiles.