Monday, November 21, 2016

Signature Inn, Springfield, Illinois

aerial imagery courtesy of Bing Maps
map graphic courtesy of at
Signature Inn opened what appears to be its final location in Springfield, Illinois, sometime in 1997.  property records show a June 1997 sale date; in that same information, I found a letter dated June 4, 1997, addressed from Signature Inn to the town collector giving an address where to mail future bills & assessment notices.  I tried but was unable to find any newspaper articles on the opening.  Seeing as how Carmel opened in February, it's entirely likely that this was it as far as new locations.

This hotel opened in 1969 as a Sheraton Hotel.  It became a Best Western in 1991, before becoming a Signature Inn in 1997.  Below is an undated postcard scan I found while browsing the Sangamon County Auditor's site that shows the hotel as a Sheraton:

Upon conversion to a Signature Inn, the hotel received a drive-through canopy in the style of nearly all of the rest of their hotels...

1997 photo, courtesy of Sangamon County auditor

While I found it neat to find a Polaroid shot of the front of the hotel shortly after its opening, I feel the below shot from 2007 gives a better view of the front of the hotel.
2007 photo, courtesy of Sangamon County auditor.
Signature Inn would remain operating at this location until February 2010, when it was determined that upgrading the hotel was too expensive and business had decreased.  Unlike other locations, this remained a Signature Inn through the Jameson merger until its closure.  The building would only stand for only about a month or so, until demolition commenced in mid-March 2010.  A Country Inn & Suites and a Shell Jiffi Stop would be the eventual replacements for the hotel.

Newspaper articles from the State Journal-Register (you can read 7 free articles a month):
Two hotels planned at Signature Inn site
Local hotels in spruce-up mood
Convenience store plan in place for old Signature Inn
Days Inn closes, Residence Inn slated to open at Dirksen and Stevenson - This article doesn't quite pertain to the Signature Inn site, though there are a couple of notable dates at the bottom.
Old Signature Inn site to be subdivided
Shell Jiffi Stop planned at Dirksen and Stevenson

Below is a Google Maps capture from May 2012 showing the hotel site.  Interesting the highway sign (at far left) remained for 2 1/2 years:

Finally, a shot of the hotel's property from a September 2014 Google Maps capture:

sources for this post include the Sangamon County, Illinois, auditor's website, archived at, archived at, and imagery found through Bing Maps and Google Maps.  Newspaper information courtesy of The State Journal-Register

Photographs of other Signature Inn locations can be found here: Formerly Signature Inn by Ryan on Flickr

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Signature Inn, Indianapolis/Carmel, IN

aerial imagery courtesy of Bing maps

map graphic courtesy of at
Signature Inn opened its Carmel, Indiana location in February 1997.  Located on the north side of Indianapolis, this hotel was Signature's smallest hotel, with only 81 rooms.  This was one of the last two hotels that the chain opened and its final new-build hotel.
Looking at the building upon entering the driveway
Early on in the project, I had a hard time believing this was a Signature Inn.  I mean, it didn't look like any of the others!  How could it be?  As I pored over property records and map captures, I finally resigned myself to believing it was, in fact, a Signature Inn at one point.

Lucky for me, I had a travel opportunity come up in early June 2015 which took me right through the Indianapolis area.  Along with the other 5 Indianapolis locations, I was able to visit this one and see the building first-hand (and from the ground!)

As I drove into the parking lot, it looked like your typical hotel-in-a-box.  There was one feature, however, that immediately stuck out at me and confirmed it was originally built as a Signature Inn.
Front entrance of the hotel
Yes, the hotel still sports a Signature Inn logo!  I find it hard to believe that it wasn't covered up, at the very least, but am thankful that it's still prominently displayed on the front of the building.
A couple of close-ups of the logo
It's very possible that this could have been the new Signature Inn look.  With a simpler design and a smaller footprint, they undoubtedly would have saved on construction costs.
Looking at the front of the hotel from the other direction
The hotel would become a Jameson Inn in 2006 when many of the remaining hotels switched over to the Jameson flag.  It remained a Jameson Inn until December 2012 or January 2013, when the last hotels were sold.  Since then, the hotel has been a Comfort Inn.
The hotel's east side, with the Comfort Inn signage.  The pool area is at the right of the building, the hotel's rear.  No S-shaped pool here :(
Below are a couple of newspaper snippets:

classified ad looking for applicants at the yet-to-open hotel
announcement of the hotel's opening
grand-opening announcement

sources for this post include the Hamilton County, Indiana, auditor's website, archived at, archived at, and imagery found through Bing Maps.  Newspaper ads courtesy of The Indianapolis Star archived at

Photographs not accredited in their captions were taken by me.  These and additional photos can be found here: Formerly Signature Inn by Ryan on Flickr