5. The 2400 Motel (1946)

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2006 Top10 Watch List

5. The 2400 Motel (1946)
2400 Motel (1946) on Kingsway represents an original example of 1940s motor inn/motor court architecture. Postcard C-501 published by Natural Color productions

The future of the 2400 Motel — Kingsway’s iconic landmark — may soon be up for public discussion.

Rumour has it that the City will soon be conducting a planning process for the stretch of Kingsway around the ‘2400’ with a view to encouraging higher density residential/commercial developments.

In fact, the City has already been working with the owners of the nearby Eldorado Motel to rezone and redevelop this site as a mixed-use development. Several years ago, in an unrelated move, the City’s properties department purchased the 2400 Kingsway site with a view to re-sale down the road as a development site. Now, as the planets align along Kingsway, it’s looking more than likely that the 2400 will be next on the development agenda.

The 2400 Motel, built in 1946, is simply the best of the post-war Kingsway auto-courts. As the late 1940s and 50s ushered in an age of unprecedented mobility, auto-courts sprung up across North America to capture the market for highway-oriented accommodation.

With completion of the Patullo Bridge and King George Highway in 1936, Kingsway became the final leg in a modern highway system linking Vancouver to the border and the States. Typical of the early motels, the 2400 was built as a cluster of cottages on a lawn around a central office, with a freestanding roadside neon sign to attract passing motorists.

An early example of the trend to modernism, the Motel’s ‘streamline moderne’ design — most notable in its flat-roofed office building — evokes the new post-war world of speed and personal mobility.

The 2400 Motel has been scrupulously maintained over the years and is virtually unchanged. With savvy management, it could continue as such into the future, marketed internationally as a unique travel experience.


Update April 14, 2006: As the City’s Norquay ‘Neighbourhood Centre’ planning process has now commenced, HVS will be drafting a letter of concern to City Council. As the City purchased the site many years ago as a development site, the ‘2400’ is seriously at risk.


Our letter to the City of Vancouver (PDF)
April 25, 2006

2400 Motel website

2400 Motel Statement of Significance (January 2007)
By Birmingham & Wood