Day 7

By: Jacqueline Connolly Paton

Mar 26 2011

Category: Uncategorized

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Focal Length:6.3mm
Shutter:1/0 sec

I’ve always been fascinated with abandoned and vacant buildings. Non more so than hotels, restaurants and cabaret night clubs from the 1950’s and 1960’s.  There is probably no better place to see these neon graveyards than on Route 1 in Saugus and Lynnfield tucked between The Hilltop, Kowloon’s, The Prince and The Fern Motel.

Another MA route that had that kitschy Vegas feel, though more obscure, is route 9 in Framingham. The only remnant of a time gone by is Ken’s Steak House. (Which should be a picture sometime this year).  So I was surprised to find this small, older motel that I’ve never seen on route to the Natick Mall. If I hadn’t pulled into the BBC’s back parking lot, I would have never seen it from route 9, completely overshadowed by the giant corporations, chain restaurants and strip malls.

I shot this picture of the Monticello Motel not knowing anything about it other than  “flea bag” was what came to mind; my first impression was that it was vacant.  On first look, Tripadvisor reviews argued for all travelers to avoid it calling it the “MoteHELLNO”…but upon further investigation, what I found out was quite fascinating.  The motel was built in 1951 and was part of the Monticello theater (where the Jordan’s Furniture is now on the hill)  was an industry staple in venues and entertainment. Big name acts such as Diana Ross and Frank Sinatra were known to headline at the Framingham location. The stars and their crews rested their heads and hung their hats at the Monticello.  The stretch of route 9 was known as the golden mile because of the huge neon lit signs and hosted acts such as Frank Sinatra, Dianna Ross and the Everley Brothers.  Check out some other links on this historic stretch of route 9.

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