HOTELS, MOTELS, WATER AND GAS
Here's a look back at some of the hotels, motels, businesses and landmarks near the entrance to the Atlanta airport during the 1960s and 70s.
One of the most spectacular gas stations ever, this Gulf stood next to the entrance road just north of the main terminal. Unfortunately it was demolished around 1978. The curved roof was designed to compliment the similar arches of the main terminal.
A mid 1960s view of the Jetsons-like Gulf station courtesy of the Smithsonian archives.
A late 1960s view of the back side of the gas station with the terminal visible at right.
I've labelled this 1964 aerial to show the locations of the landmarks on this page.
The Air Host Inn was on Virginia Avenue at the airport entrance ramp. The Atlanta airport tower can be seen in the background of the bottom photo on this postcard. A RaceTrac gas station occupies the site today.
Another split-view postcard of the Air Host Inn.
Artist's rendering of the Air Host Inn with Atlanta airport in background.
These images are from two sides of a matchbook cover.
Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. (center) visits the Air Host Inn for the announcement of expansion plans on June 25, 1969. The "Jet Age" airport terminal can be seen in the background of this rendering. From the Lane Brothers collection.
The back side of the motel showing early construction of the new addition, June 25, 1969. From the Lane Brothers collection.
The Atlanta Hilton Inn was built in 1960 directly across Virginia Avenue from the airport in anticipation of the opening of the new terminal the following year. A dramatically different Atlanta Airport Hilton occupies this site today. Photo from the Tracy O'Neal Photographic Collection, Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.
Here's the rendering seen in the sign above. The skyline of Atlanta is portrayed in the distance. A great detail is the aircraft and hangar at bottom right, just steps from the front door of the hotel lobby.
A 1961 aerial view of the Atlanta Hilton Inn and the newly opened "Jet Age" terminal. The construction at right is the interchange between Virginia Avenue and the airport entrance.
A poolside postcard view of the Atlanta Hilton Inn.
The 2-story Hilton was demolished in 1987 to make way for the much larger Hilton that occupies the site today.
The Sky Host Inn was across I-85 from the airport on Virginia Avenue. This postcard states it featured "up-to-the-minute" decor!
This water tank stood at Virginia on the northbound exit ramp of I-85. It featured a great 1950s-style painting of a 4-engine jet flying over a giant drop of water with the words "WATER SERVICE FOR THE JET AGE". Courtesy of Georgia State's Pullen Library. In this view I-85 would be off to the right and the Eastern hangar can be seen in the background to the left.
Brian Sassaman sent in this photo taken by his grandfather from the old Atlanta airport control tower / administration building in the 1970s. The psychedelic mural adorned the end of the airport Sheraton. The Virginia Avenue interchange with I-85 is hidden behind the water tank. The building in the distance, just to the right of the hotel, is the East Point City Hall.
This is Virginia Avenue facing east from College Park towards the airport as it appeared in 1973. The I-85 interchange is hidden just over the hill in this view and the airport entrance would be off to the right beyond that. The KFC and Holiday Inn are both still in the same location today.
1970s postcard view of the airport Howard Johnson's facing west with Virginia Avenue heading toward College Park at far left.
A mid-1970s night view of the Howard Johnson's and a second photo of the airport on the right. Notice the 747 in the Delta hangar.