Aurora Avenue seems like it probably has a storied past. These days, the story is urban highway and blighted business districts. At one time, it seems like everyone decided it would be a great place to build glorious old-timey motels. Back before the Motel 6s and Holiday Inns, everyone had cool names and even better signs. At present, most of those places are out of business, but some remain, and better yet, they haven’t torn down the relics quite yet. I don’t think they’ll last long, so this will be the first in a series of what is left. All of these are on Aurora Ave N (State Route 99) north of downtown Seattle. First up, the Thunderbird Motel.
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Most recently, this place was actually called the Fremont Inn, but I’ll defer to the huge neon thunderbird. This was actually one of the first of the motels to be forcibly shut down under the nuisance laws. I can’t say I’m sad that it isn’t up and running but I hope they turn it into something worthwhile instead of just another vacant lot or hole in the ground.
I think it’s safe to say, this place has seen better days.