The Space Age Playground Motel that Time Forgot

The Space Age Playground Motel that Time Forgot

Earlier today on MessyNessyChic, we pulled over on the internet highway at one of the kitschiest roadside attractions on America’s East Coast, “South of the Border“. But just a little further down, on the other side of the interstate, there’s something equally surreal to make a stop for.

The Space Age Playground Motel that Time Forgot

While scouting for roadside oddities, I also stumbled across a photo album shared by a road tripper who had made a trip down the Interstate-95 on his way to the South of the Border theme park and discovered an abandoned roadside motel with a mid-century playground straight out of the space age.

The Space Age Playground Motel that Time Forgot

Roadtripper Brian Reynolds recalls…

“I was caught completely by surprise because on the East side of the interstate was the most amazing playground I’d seen since childhood. My father likes to tell how I used to always ask to stop and “play on the equipment” when I was 4 to 6 years old, and I swear that that kid in me had a Christmas-morning experience when seeing this playground.”

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The Space Age Playground Motel that Time Forgot

“First of all, this playground is enormous! At least 15 feet tall at its highest and completely themed around the 1960’s space age frenzy that was all the rage at the time. Most playgrounds like this have long ago been replaced by more modern plastic, abstract designs, but this was the stuff of memories. Certainly this playground isn’t safe for use anymore but the deterioration lends its own level of texture and appeal.”

The Space Age Playground Motel that Time Forgot

The Space Age Playground Motel that Time Forgot

The Space Age Playground Motel that Time Forgot

The Space Age Playground Motel that Time Forgot

The motel is an old Family Inns of America branch, a hospitality chain which I guess you could say has “fallen out of favour” with the American road tripper in recent years. Several motels had to be forcibly shut down by health department and city officials because of problems such as mould growing in the rooms due to unrepaired leaky roofs.

The Space Age Playground Motel that Time Forgot

Even worse, in 2011, the owner of Family Inns of America, Ken Seaton pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of simple assault in connection with several sexual incidents involving women and served 90 days in jail. The hotel magnate has since been trying to sell off his motel chain in a bid to retire.

The Space Age Playground Motel that Time Forgot

I guess he didn’t manage to sell off this one.

The Space Age Playground Motel that Time Forgot

These photographs taken back in 2007 are also a rather flattering image of what state the motel is actually in today…

The Space Age Playground Motel that Time Forgot

More recent pictures found on Flickr

The Space Age Playground Motel that Time Forgot

(c) ringwormone and Trey Ratcliffe

This video uploaded in 2012 shows the motel in considerably worse condition but the playground appears more or less unchanged (at the 9:10 mark)…

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