5. The 2400 Motel (1946)

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2007 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, is up for grabs.

The ‘Norquay Neighbourhood Centre’ planning process, of which it is a part, focuses on encouraging higher density residential/commercial developments in the area around Kingsway and Nanaimo.

Rezoning of the nearby Eldorado Motel for redevelopment as a high-density mixed-use project has already been approved. The 2400 site, which the City purchased some years ago as an investment for future re-sale as a development site, is probably next in line.

When HV and local community groups expressed concern about the heritage value of the white stucco bungalows and the iconic ‘2400’ neon sign, the City set up a stakeholder process to discuss preservation and/or development options for the future of the site. However, a favourable outcome is by no means assured, as all options — including demolition — are on the table.

The 2400 Motel, built in 1946, is simply the best of the post-war Kingsway auto-courts. Ten years earlier, completion of the Patullo Bridge and King George Highway had made Kingsway the final leg in a modern highway system linking Vancouver to the States. When 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.

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 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.


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

2400 Motel website

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