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After sitting in storage for five years, a new feature at the Museum of Transportation was built in May 2000. It is a semi-permanent exhibit about the Coral Court Motel. It features the Streamline Moderne facade of one of the motel’s 1946 units built of glazed brick and glass blocks. Once again these original materials are back together for our appreciation. The exhibit also covers the impact of “car culture” on the nation with a 1941 Fleetwood Cadillac peaking out of the Coral Court garage. Meanwhile Bobby Darin’s Dream Car, a space age “Jetson-like” fantasy from 1962, sits close by in the same room. Included in the display are pieces of CCM memorabilia and photo examples of other landmarks on U.S. Route 66. When enough funds are collected, the museum plans to rebuild the entire Coral Court unit outdoors for all to enjoy. Can you imagine the sidewalk leading to this Deco masterpiece? It could be called the “Walk of Shame”. Yes, for only $$ you can have your name (or anyone else’s name) engraved in a brick for the sidewalk for all of posterity. :-)

What was built on the site of the former Coral Court? Instead of history, nostalgia and a fabulous landmark, there is now a subdivision of 45 single-family homes called Oak Knoll Manor. Only the original, distinctive stone gates and a few pillars remain. You must look closely to see them behind the growing trees and shrubbery. The motel’s stone gates and the Oak Knoll Manor subdivision are located between Sunset Bowling Center and Rothman Furniture store, in the Village of Marlborough, Missouri. One of my future projects is to have a historic marker placed in front of these stone entrance gates, so tourists and locals will have a permanent reminder of Coral Court.

Sometimes I think about the motel’s last years and the energy spent fighting to save her. Ardent Coral Court fans fought passionately to preserve this ageless beauty. There were no true winners. Money, or the lack of it, won in the end. If there had been just one St. Louis corporation, or, in the spirit of Coral Court, just one “anonymous” hero with enough money and concern for this magnificent motel; maybe fifty-four years of memories, an architect’s vision and an owner’s dream would not have been destroyed and lost forever.

IF you would like to write to the Village of Marlborough in support of our proposed Coral Court marker, please go to City of Marlborough St. Louis County government page.

In 2004, Bill Boll and Shellee Graham completed their award winning video documentary "Built for Speed: The Coral Court Motel." The program has received rave reviews from the media and won the 2005 Aurora Award for International Broadcasting. The Museum of Transportation's Automotive Building (where the Coral Court display is housed) underwent an extensive renovation and was reopened in December 2005.