John A. Jakle and Keith A. Sculle, two leading experts on the nation’s roadside landscape, examine the crucial role that small- to mid-sized city hotels played in American life during the early decades of the 20th century, a time when the automobile was fast becoming the primary mode of transportation. Before the advent of the interstate system, such hotels served as commercial and social anchors of developing towns across the country. America’s Main Street Hotels provides a thorough survey of the impact these hotels had on their communities and cultures.
The authors explore the hotels' origins, their traditional functions, and the many ups and downs they experienced throughout the early 20th century, along with their potential for reuse now and in the future. The audiobook details building types, layouts, and logistics; how the hotels were financed; hotel management and labor; hotel life and customers; food services; changing fads and designs; and what the hotels are like today.