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Cover image: Motel Postcard c. 1960s. Public Domain.

Located next to Atlanta Municipal Airport (now Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport), the Air Host Inn first opened its doors in August 1961.

Postcard of an artist's rendering of an aerial view of the Air Host Inn in the 1960s.
Postcard with artist rendering of Air Host Inn c. 1961. Public Domain

Designed and built by the Atlanta firm Epstein, the 150-room hotel was designed to meet the needs of modern travelers of the Jet Age. The “Jet Set”, as these travelers would be called, was a group of elite socialites who often traveled by jet to destinations across the country and around the world. They could often be found socializing and entertaining in restaurants and nightclubs, rarely shying away from any publicity.

Epstein gave them what they wanted.

Epstein designed the Air Host Inn in the mid-century modern futuristic style of architecture known as “Googie”. The name itself was inspired by architect John Lautner’s design of the now-defunct Googie’s Coffee Shop in Hollywood. Influenced by the Atomic, Jet and Space Ages of mid-century America,  Googie architecture included upswept roofs, curvilinear, geometric shapes, and audacious use of glass, steel and neon, much of which can be seen in Epstein’s design of the Air Host Inn.

Postcard with two images. Top image shows exterior view of Air Host Inn. Second image shows outdoor swimming pool at Air Host Inn.
The outdoor swimming pool was just one of the many amenities available at the Air Host Inn. Postcard circa 1960s. Public Domain.

For the jet set and frequent business travelers, the inside included a spacious lobby, a variety of dining areas, cocktail lounges, meeting rooms, and the exclusive Executive Club. There was also an outdoor pool and patio.

Of course, the Air Host Inn didn’t come without its own kitsch factor. The 3 Hearths Restaurant featured “three distinctive menus” to choose from: Pancake Plantation, Potluck Kitchen, and Steak Kitchen (which we’re presuming were simply the breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus.)

“For intimate drinks”, there was the Cloud 9 Cocktail Lounge which also hosted the Miss Tall Atlanta Beauty Pageant for many years.

As popular as the Air Host Inn was over the years, the promise of  the future unfortunately became a relic of the past.  As the number of Jet Setters shrank due to flights becoming affordable for everyone by the 1980s, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has since grown into the busiest airport in the nation. In the process of its growth and expansion, however, the Air Host Inn was swallowed up. Today, the Air Host Inn only exists in the memories of a few jet setters, local historians, and perhaps some former Miss Tall Atlanta contestants.

The Hey Biog Boy Gift Tin stuffed with all sorts of Stuckey's pecan and chocolate treats.
“Hey, Big Boy!”

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