The End Is The Beginning Once More
For the first time in decades, the sun arose this morning on a heap of rubble where once stood a welcoming vacation destination. The Howard Johnson’s in Fort Lauderdale is gone, and its towering presence is now a mound of memories for those who had once visited here.
What amazing and interesting things happened through the years? What joys and sorrows were known to visitors and staff? What emotions were revealed to us through smiles and laughter or betrayed by tears?
For those who visited Fort Lauderdale through the decades, there is no longer a structure to remind them of their own memories; there is no familiar landscape. The memory is now part of history, a history reduced to these last images. They are the digital remnants of an era now passed, but they are a reminder that all things change.
Soon, a new tower of memories will rise on this shore. New faces will inhabit the walls that shall grow and form before our eyes. Perhaps we shall come to know some of these people, to share their dreams, and to be a part of that new history to come.
The Last Days Of The Old “HoJo’s”
Below are copies of post cards that guests once sent home to friends and family, and after that you will see photographs taken during the the final days of the old Howard Johnson’s existence on Fort Lauderdale’s beach. Following the photographs, a short video of the day of demolition, followed by additional pictures taken the morning afterward.
The intersection of Vistamar and A1A is now primed for a new condominium tower, to be called Paramount. How poignant is it that this vacation destination should become as ephemeral as the visits of those who once attended her? Perhaps, with the rise of a high-price condo tower, a new permanence shall come to these shores.
The 1960’s: Howard Johnson’s At Its Peak
February 2014: The Final Days
Demolition Day: February 19, 2014
The Morning Afterward: February 20, 2014