Original text for this site:
"JFK slept here! And before he did, it was a vaguely Tudoresque structure; just by entering the lobby JFK transformed it all into a sleek technocratic International style building. And lipstick the color of Marylin’s shade instantly appeared on the bathroom towels.
"Just kidding. It could have happened, but probably didn’t. The Executive is a beaut in any case, and while it’s been remodeled somewhat, you can still see its old sleek style in the modern version."
Or rather you could. It went down in 2009. A recollection is here:
Those who knew the Executive Motor Hotel in its 1960s heyday still remember it. For many Richmonders the unabashedly giddy modernism provided a first, and perhaps fleeting, glimpse of Jetsonesque architecture. Both inside and out, the sprawling complex signaled the future.
I hate reading stories like that. It's as if there was an optimism inherent in the designs of these structures that required others to believe as well, and when we stopped the buildings sagged and rusted. The stories are usually written from the perspective of an adult recalling childhood wonder, and I've a few of those myself. You'd go into one of those coffee shops or motel lobbies and think the future is going to be wonderful and the present's pretty cool. If kids growing up in the 70s thought that, they might have defined it as "more neat space movies and maybe computers." For us it was a completely different way of living - atomic, technological, push-button, and smart.
The future was going to be a smart place to live.