Before and After: Holiday Inn, Meridian

As I think I’ve mentioned before, one of “those projects” on my List of Things To Do, is to go through my postcard collection, which I’ve scanned, and add a location to each one when possible. At times, it’s easy because the building is still there and I just pop it on the map and move on. Other times, I have to spend a little time sleuthing to figure out where the building used to stand, or at least roughly at what intersection. Recently, I came across this sweet Meridian Holiday Inn with its distinctive folded plate roof.

HOLIDAY INN (NO. 2), MERIDIAN, MISSISSIPPI. P.O. Box 5497. U.S. 45 So. at Cloverleaf U.S. 11–80–I-20–I-59 at 22nd Avenue. Ph. 483-5381–AC: 601. Swimming Pool–Air-conditioned–Restaurant–Free TV–Free Holidex Reservations. Dated Sep 1969.

Unlike some postcards that are vague about the location or don’t have an address in the caption, this one gives good directions, and I know the intersection. “Well,” I thought, “I would remember that building if I had ever seen it, so it must not be there today.” I went to Google maps, and was trying to figure out which side of the intersection the building might have been on. This is what I saw.

At first glance, I focused on the building labeled Holiday Inn, but it’s a multi-story building, so I figured this must be a new building on the site of the old Holiday Inn. Then my eye traveled south a bit and well, well, well, that’s a weird-shaped, eye-catching pool–the same shape as in the postcard–and lo and behold, in front of the weird-shaped pool is a building with a folded-plate roof. How have I missed such a memorable building when passing through this intersection all these years??

Here’s the streetview to show you how our old distinctive Holiday Inn has been camouflaged behind a boring Dryvit “classical” cornice and one of those ungainly cupolaed pavilions that were popular in the 1990s. Such are the indignities that sturdy yeoman modernist buildings like this one have suffered, but at least the building and its fabulous pool are still there and who knows? Maybe someday someone will rip off that Dryvet and pavilion and let the modernism shine forth again.

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See more Before and Afters . ..



Categories: Architectural Research, Hotels, Meridian, Modernism

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6 replies

  1. Excellent sleuthing, EL. Are any of the old “racing light” Holiday Inn signs still around? I remember sitting in the parking lot of Greenwood’s HI, watching those light bulbs sequence on and off. The building still stands, as a sad entity known as “Golden Coach.”

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  2. If you go to the map site, use the control + mouse tool, you can also swivel around the the backside (by the pool), and get a better look at the bones of the former Holiday Inn.

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  3. Thanks for another winning post! Painful to see all the choice googieness gone forever, particularly the Sheraton porte-cochère.

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  4. I love anything that is a before and after display! The pool was a quick give-away. I’ve seen any number of interesting shaped pools in Mississippi, all dating back to the 1960’s. Wonder if some posts might come up here, hint hint. The one at the old hotel in Biloxi where the Beau Rivage is now comes to mind first.

    And, I’m staying in a HI Express in Jackson right now with a modern lime green interior and modern metal everything. UGH what I would give for the chasing light sign to be out front! Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Update: I happened to drive past this building a couple of weeks ago on my way through Meridian. I swung off the highway to get a closer look at it than I could with Google streetview, but sadly, I found that the building has been demolished! The three-story hotel is still there and in use, but our original folded plate building is gone. I was too discouraged to get out to see if the pool might at least still be there.

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