Regency Inn & Suites from “Mad Men”Jan 7th, 2014 | By Lindsay | Category: TV Locations
On my many trips back and forth from Palm Springs to L.A., I often pass by a red-roofed, A-frame Regency Inn & Suites situated alongside the Interstate 10 freeway. I knew from doing research for my post about Rod’s Grill in Arcadia that the Regency Inn & Suites in Baldwin Park was used as the exterior of the supposed Plattsburg, New York Howard Johnson Motor Lodge in the Season 5 episode of Mad Men titled “Far Away Places.” And while the motel near the 10 was pretty much an identical match to the motel I had seen in the episode, because I am so horrifically bad with direction, I was unsure if the two were one and the same. In fact, at the time I had no idea where in the heck Baldwin Park actually was. Then, two weekends ago, while the Grim Cheaper and I were making the trek from L.A. back to the desert, I once again spotted the lodging and immediately pulled out my trusty iPhone to see if it was the one that had appeared in Mad Men. Sure enough, it was, so I had the GC head right on over there so that I could finally do some stalking of the place. (As it turns out, Baldwin Park is located in between El Monte and West Covina.)
According to the Highway Host website, the 69-room Regency Inn & Suites was originally constructed in the fall of 1967 as a Howard Johnson Motor Lodge. It continued to operate as an HoJo until 1995. Thankfully, aside from the name, little else has been changed since the place’s early days, as you can see in this 1960 image as compared to the photographs below.
Even the vintage Howard Johnson “Motor Lodge” signage is still located onsite. LOVE IT!
I originally found this location thanks to a Zap2it post that chronicled the October 2011 Mad Men shoot.
In the “Far Away Places” episode, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and his new wife, Megan Draper (Jessica Pare), head to upstate New York for the weekend in order to meet with clients from the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge company about a new advertising campaign. While eating at the Howard Johnson restaurant (the interior of which was actually Rod’s Grill in Arcadia, which I blogged about here), the couple gets into a huge fight and Don storms outside to the parking lot. He winds up abandoning Megan by driving off, but has a change of heart a few minutes later. When he returns for her, though, Megan is nowhere to be found and Don spends the rest of the day and night searching for her.
The area used in the episode was the motel’s east entrance, which I could not get a good photograph of due to the positioning of the sun.
At one point in “Far Away Places,” Don is informed by the management that the Howard Johnson pool is off limits due to the fact that a non-potty-trained child had an “accident” in it. Taking advantage of the plug, shortly after the episode aired the Howard Johnson chain offered a free one-night stay at one of eight locations to anyone legally bearing the name Don Draper. The promotion featured a letter written by Brand Sr. Vice President Rui Barros and stated, “Dear Mr. Draper, It has recently come to my attention through the general manager at our Plattsburg Howard Johnson that there may have been an issue with the pool during your recent stay. At Howard Johnson hotels, our owners strive to give each and every guest a great stay, one that creates the same happy-filled memories that the brand’s legacy is built upon. Unfortunately, sometimes things happen that are beyond our control. That’s why, on behalf of the brand, I would like to offer you an apology and welcome you back for another stay, this time on us.” How incredibly cool is that?
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Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Regency Inn & Suites, from the “Far Away Places” episode of Mad Men, is located at 14624 Dalewood Street in Baldwin Park.