WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Room with a screw

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One nice thing about being a writer is that you can create things that never existed. Pretty cool. But an even cooler thing is that you can bring back things that are long gone. Case in point: the Coral Court Motel, in St. Louis, MO.

Just look at it. Isn’t it magnificent? It’s made of some kind of strange, glazed material the color of tobacco resin, and the windows are glass blocks that can’t be seen through. This feature was critical for patrons of the Coral Court, who were interested in spending an hour or two there and then leaving. That’s right. As the name of a documentary about the place suggests (“Built For Speed”), the Coral Court was a favorite for lovers in a hurry.

It was on Route 66, just beyond the St. Louis city limits and conceived (sorry) as a stopover for truckers. That doesn’t really explain why each room had its own garage, though, or those glass-block windows, or the peculiar four- and eight-hour rates. People often tittered when they mentioned the Coral Court.

I used to drive by it frequently on my way hither/yon, and I always thought of it as a wonderfully kitschy remnant from days gone by — even though it was still open for risky business. Unfortunately, a developer bought it and the surrounding acreage in 1995 and had it razed post-haste. No fanfare. No ceremony, though I understand it was recreated in fly-in-amber fashion in a local museum a few years later. Some lovely cul-de-sac-style homes are on the site now.

I’ve saved a little space in one of my books for the Coral Court. Looking forward to spending some time there.

It’s the same book, as a matter of fact, that I mentioned back in July, when I described a house that’s no longer there. But the house is a central character in the book and the book couldn’t be written without it.

Like I said. Pretty cool.

(Image via.)

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4 comments on “Room with a screw

  1. sknicholls
    January 10, 2014

    Just make it accurate, or you will loose credibility.

  2. John W. Howell
    January 10, 2014

    Love this motel. Wonder if the garages have remotes or do you have to show yourself opening the door.

    • Kevin Brennan
      January 10, 2014

      That was the risk many were willing to take… 👀

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This entry was posted on January 10, 2014 by in Writing and tagged , , , , .
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