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Milestone Mo-tel, home away from home at California's first roadside lodging

Road-tripping this holiday weekend? Perhaps it's a good reason to celebrate the design of the Milestone Mo-tel.

For Pasadena developer and architect Arthur S. Heineman, who coined the word “motel” from “motor” and “hotel,” catching the eye of the weary traveler was key. What better way to draw motorists' attention than to create the look of a California mission? Heineman built white stucco buildings with red-tile roofs, a tower inspired by the mission in Santa Barbara and an arcade that emulated nearby Mission San Luis Obispo.

Our Lost L.A. columnist Sam Watters spins the story behind the Milestone Mo-tel, California's first motel.

Photo: The Milestone Mo-tel, circa 1925. Credit: Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens


Lost L.A.: Left Coast culture told through buildings, landscapes and objects that are no more


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