The Silver Horseshoe Motel - Summer Avenue

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Silver Horseshoe Motel
  • Silver Horseshoe Motel
I've never gone to the trouble to actually count the number of motels along Summer or Poplar, but in years past Summer was always considered the "gateway" to Memphis for tourists and business travelers coming into our city from the east. Kemmons Wilson certainly realized that, when he erected the world's first Holiday Inn on Summer, just east of Mendenhall.

A few miles to the west, an older tourist court was already standing on the north side of Summer, just west of Perkins. It had gone by many names since it opened in the 1940s, but most Memphians remember it as the Silver Horseshoe. I'm not sure how it got such a distinctive name, since no part of it was painted silver, and the rows of cottages nestled under the old trees were (as far as I can tell) not arranged in a horseshoe shape. It was just a basic little motel, which managed to stay in business for four decades or more, until the bulldozers finally pushed it all down in the late 1980s to make way for a shopping center.

What WAS distinctive about the whole complex was the oddly designed little diner that stood next door to the Silver Horseshoe office. Called — what else? — the Horseshoe Diner, this tiny cafe was all jutting rooflines and weird struts, painted a nice green and white.

I managed to take a few photos of the Silver Horseshoe and Horseshoe Diner just days before they came tumbling down, so here you go. Enjoy.

Horseshoe Diner
  • Horseshoe Diner

Silver Horseshoe Motel
  • Silver Horseshoe Motel

Silver Horseshoe Motel
  • Silver Horseshoe Motel

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