Post details: Hotel Karlin

06/15/07

Permalink 01:00:13 am, Categories: Urban Exploration, 615 words   English (US)

Hotel Karlin

An abandoned house was demolished in my neighborhood over the winter. While it was no great loss (it had been an eyesore for years), I received disturbing intelligence that a nearby long-abandoned motel might also be at risk, so I called in Zen Master to help document and explore the place while we still had the chance. I had driven by hundreds of times, due to its proximity to my own home, but never stopped to investigate. It’s easy to ignore the ones you see every day because they seem less exotic. That is, until it’s too late.

Hotel Karlin

I don’t know the name of the motel, as it’s been closed for as long as I can remember. All I know is that it may have been associated with the “Truck Harbor,” a truck stop that went out of business about 20 years ago. I vaguely recall going there as a child and finding several rooms unlocked and still furnished, complete with beds and Gideon Bibles. However, the property had since changed hands several times and was used for storage at one point, so I had no idea what to expect.

Gas Pump Graveyard

The area behind the building was interesting, as it had been turned into a graveyard for discarded gasoline pumps and other things, including a forklift, an abandoned semi truck trailer, billboards, and an industrial refrigeration unit.

After having our fill of the junkyard our first order of business was, of course, to try and access the roof. Being a one-story motor inn this was not a monumental task. I was able to reach the top by climbing up the side of the refrigerator, though I almost fell when one of the doors sprang open. Zen Master opted to climb a nearby thorn tree and go from there. I’d say I got the better deal.

Up on the Roof

After taking in the incredible view afforded by a 15 ft change in elevation, we climbed back down and went about investigating the rest of the building. The office, which apparently contained laundry facilities at one time, was all but destroyed. It was made of cheap lumber, separate from the main building, and had simply succumbed to the elements. Luckily, the actual guest quarters were completely intact.

Ruint Office

After trying a few locked doors Zen Master was ready to declare the mission a failure, announcing that “All these doors will be locked,” but I was able to apply my Fonz-like magic touch and find an unlocked room on my first try; the only unlocked room, it turned out. It was basic cheap motel fare – wood paneled walls and deep pile carpeting. The furniture had unfortunately been removed, along with the Bible from my childhood, most likely during its storage unit phase.

The Lost Room

Curiously, the room we were in did NOT contain a bathroom. It’s unclear whether other rooms had private baths, or if they were simply bedrooms that shared a communal lavatory. We reckoned it may have been in the destroyed office space we visited earlier.

Mere days later I happened to drive by and notice the motel had been reduced to a pile of wreckage. We had come just in the nick of time, it seems, and it’s likely that if one were to visit the site now they would find no trace of its existence, as it was being bulldozed away the last time I visited.

Destruction

In a way it’s an honor, knowing that (with the exception of the demolition crew) we were probably the last people to ever see the old motel, and knowing that these pictures may be all that remain to prove it was ever there. Its salvage archaeology meets urban exploration

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