Farewell, Chalet Motel

There will be a story in Saturday’s paper, and online, about Friday’s demolition of the Chalet Motel on London Road. It will be replaced by a new office building; here are two photos of the site late Friday afternoon:

The Chalet Motel was formerly known as the London Manor Motel; it was mentioned over on the Perfect Duluth Day blog a while back in a post on the London Road motel row. There’s a vintage postcard view of the London Manor Motel here.

And, for those who looked very closely at the motel site today, you would have seen a vestige of the Chalet’s former name. Someone tore off the boards on one side of the Chalet sign, revealing the old “London Manor Motel” sign underneath. It’s very clearly the same sign seen in the postcard mentioned above:

I know the Chalet had a bit of a rough reputation in recent years, but I remember it for a different reason. My first apartment in Duluth was less than two blocks from the Chalet Motel, up on Jefferson Street. So the night before I moved in there – my first night as a new resident of Duluth – was spent at the Chalet, with all my possessions in a U-Haul outside in the parking lot.

Share your memories of the London Road motels by posting a comment.

5 thoughts on “Farewell, Chalet Motel

  1. My grandfather, Raymond St. George owned the London Manor Motel when I was a child. I wish I knew where that sign was too. I have good memories of being at the motel visiting and helping my grandpa.
    ~Jody

  2. I visited the link for the photo of the London Manor Motel. My God what a pretty place. It makes you happy just looking at it. The “Chalet” makeover was a travesty.

  3. I remember having lunch at the London House restaurant on London Road in the 1960s. It later became Rudolph’s North Shore, a branch of the Minneapolis BBQ restaurant. Since we lived in Grand Rapids and only came to Duluth for shopping daytrips, we never stayed overnight, but my parents once rented us kids a room for the day at the Voyageur, so we’d have a place to rest between store visits. I learned much later that people used to rent rooms by the hour there for other purposes.

  4. I hope somebody saved that London Manor Motel sign? That is really a bit
    of history and a really really neat sign. That should be in a restaurant somewhere
    on the wall. Perhaps Grandma’s! I think that motel was there very early perhaps
    the late 1940′s??

  5. As a native of Tofte, Minnesota I remember well driving past the Chalet Motel in trips to the “big city” of Duluth growing up in the 1960s on the North Shore. The News Tribune attic is a wonderful, wonderful feature in the Duluth News-Tribune. A picture is worth a thousand words–and just about as many memories.
    I’ve lived in Des Moines, Iowa since 1973. It’s a major city in microcosm (or a “big Duluth”–depending how you look at it). I’ve repeatedly tried to get the Des Moines Register to start a feature like the Duluth News Tribune attic but, so far, to no avail.

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