At the end it almost looked like it wanted to join the sky. Or it had decided to go the chameleon route, and hope no one noticed. You can imagine the owner's dilemma - they had the most recognizable motel icon outside of the Holiday Inn Great Sign, but it had a signature color for a different chain. I wonder if the chain made old Howard Johnsons repaint when they left the fold. "Anything but Orange," they probably said.
As if we wouldn't know what it was.
I can't remember the exact date I noticed it had been painted, but it was the mid to late 90s. In 1999 I learned it was coming down. This wasn't just a sad moment for those who always loved the distinctive buildings; it was a small piece of personal history about to be clawed and hauled away.
So I stopped off one afternoon, and took some pictures.