Route 1's intangible heritage: the lost motels of College Park
Pogue, Dennis J.
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From the 1920s to the 1950s, tourist camps and motels were established along Route 1 in College Park, Maryland, to take advantage of the tourist traffic heading to and from Washington, D.C. Fifteen tourist camps and motels were identified within the project area, none of which survive in their original location or condition. They constitute the earliest stages in the development of roadside lodging and represent a variety of architectural styles which reflect their eras of construction, although most took the form of cabin camps. A variety of factors, some of which occurred on a national level, contributed to their decline, such as the construction of the Capital Beltway, the growth of the University of Maryland, the rise of referral, franchise, and company-owned hotels, and self-redevelopment to meet new demands. College Park’s roadside is an ever-changing environment that reflects the needs of each passing generation. These camps and motels, although no longer standing, are an important part of the story of America’s growing dependence on the automobile, which is evidenced by suburban development, as well as landscape and architectural design. Due to the intangible nature of these sites, creative methods of interpretation must be used to present their stories to the public, such as interpretive signage, a website, an iPhone app, history pin, driving tours, or a brochure.
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