The four story abandoned hotel has become a landmark off of I-65 in greater Lafayette, IN. Once the source of local pride, the deteriorating building has become an eyesore to the local community and an alluring pit stop for those passing by with exploration on the mind.
Having made the drive between Cincinnati and Chicago several times, I always remember the huge abandoned hotel off of the highway right before I pass it. Before, I never really had time to stop or was traveling with people who aren't as interested in photographing abandoned buildings. Last summer was different though.
Some friends and I were on our way to "the good land" of Milwaukee and in no rush to get there. We were actually trying to find an old "Skywatch" tower when the exit we took turned out to be the same one that road weary travelers would've used to access the hotel seen here between 1972 and 2003.
I've been in some gross situations when exploring abandoned buildings before - mold, dust, dirt, grime, bird shit - it comes with the territory. This place though, was bad. A "you can clearly smell the mold reeking out of the entrance" kind of bad. Some still wanted to venture in, but I don't think Matt's Birkenstocks were up for the challenge of repelling whatever the hell we'd find on the floor. Not to mention, being unfamiliar with the local area's residents and law enforcement could delay us from sipping good beer in Milwaukee that evening.
We instead settled for walking around the outside, gazing up at the rooms still furnished with televisions, lamps, mattresses and emblazoned with spent paintball ammunition. The only thing breaking up the asphalt in the parking lot were weeds that had run wild and pornographic magazines of a "deceiving" nature (the kind your buddy kicks with his shoe while saying: "Hey, she's pretty ho......OH, WAIT, that's a dude!).
We eventually continued on our way after our small urban exploration pit stop. While my camera never grazed the inside of that building's moldy aroma - the Lafayette Journal & Courier did run a story on the place in February 2014 showing the inside's current condition (the frozen swimming pool is pretty awesome looking). Apparently the building originally opened as a Holiday Inn in 1972. It was a big deal for the area, so much so, that the Lafayette Journal & Courier dedicated 12 pages to covering it. In the early 2000's it was sold and remodeled under the Days Inn brand. In May 2003 the building went into foreclosure and closed for good. Over the past decade, the local government has been involved in plans to either get the property owners to renovate or raise funds to demolish it. So far, nothing seems to have been successful.
Nevertheless, you can check out the Journal & Courier's excellent piece (including the 1972 twelve page spread) here.
In the meantime, the hotel is just another piece of abandoned roadside America.
And if you like abandoned hotels, check out our previous articles from the Cincinnati North and Dayton Executive.