Elm Street and Northwest Avenue

(Average Daily Trips in 1997: 8,500-12,700)

Today, on the 2400 block of Elm Street is the Lions Inn Motel. The Lions Inn Motel seems oddly out of place next to apartments and single-family homes. Other businesses on Elm Street are more to serve the neighborhood's needs than the needs of people from out of town. Forty years ago, when it was called the City Center Motel, this one level motel must have fit right in with other tourist commercial activities such as Ted Stuart's Service Station and Bill's Market. The postcard of the City Center Motel from the 1950's declares "Elegance without extravagance." Some modifications have been made to the motel, such as covering the brick with tan stucco and removing the pole supported covered walkway.

As it left to Bellingham, Highway 99 created a boost for stores along Northwest Avenue as well. By 1935 there was already a Hi-Way Market and Grocery Meats just a short distance south of the Bellingham Auto Camp. Ten years later the new neighbor to the Hi-Way Market was the Hiway Barber. In 1965 the motels flourished around the Hi-Way Market, but the barbershop was gone. Today, because Northwest Avenue is one of the interchanges off of Interstate 5 a significant amount of commercial activity still exists. None of the 5 motels that were once there show any traces. Two have been demolished or moved within the last five years. The Northwest Motel with log cabin units, shown in the archived photo, was torn down in 1995 and a credit union went up in it’s place.

Building a Military Road| The Start of The Good Roads Association | Highway 99

The Route of Highway 99 Through Bellingham | Samish Way | East Maple and Ellis Street

Holly Street | Prospect and Dupont | Elm Street and Northwest Avenue

West Maplewood | References and Attribution




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