The Story Behind Don’s Motel On Mad Men

Posted in design, set design with tags , , , , , , on May 12, 2015 by Christine Haskell
 Repost from: Hollywood LA IST


The colorful motel Don Draper was holed up in during this week’s penultimate episode of Mad Menwasn’t really in Anytown, U.S.A., just outside of Tulsa and somewhere between Wyoming and Kansas. The real life motel is in La Crescenta (2413 Foothill Blvd), in the foothills north of Los Angeles.

The La Crescenta Motel opened in the late 1940s, when it was called the May Lane Motel—it had (and maintains) a classic L-shape. A book on La Crescenta describes its origins and provides early photos: “In 1949, Glen Hine nails down the subfloor on a future Crescenta Valley fixture—the May Lane Motel, named for his son Maynard (“May”), and is daughter Alane (“Lane”). He ran the motel until his death in 1964.” The book also notes that the motel “lives on borrowed time, as developers plan to tear it down soon”—this was published in 2006, however, and the motel is still standing today… though it’s had an uncertain future since its sale in 2002.




In 2008, the Glendale News noted that original owner “Glen Hine grew up in Indiana and moved to the west coast after serving as an aircraft mechanic in World War I. He and his wife, Theresa, built a home in Glendale prior to purchasing the La Crescenta land, where they built the hotel.” Hine had wanted to build a 1950s diner on the lot, as well, but didn’t get a chance to before his death.

After Hine’s death, in 1964, his family continued to run the motel for about 40 years. Theresa Hine lived there until her death in 1994, when she was 95 years old. When Maynard determined the business was taking too much time away from his young family, he turned the motel over to his sister, according to his writings. The motel was sold to developer Mike Kobessi in 2002 and plans were approved by the county in 2005 to include demolishing the current one-level set of rooms and replacing that with a two-story retail and office structure.

via Facebook

In 2012, another article noted that its fate was still uncertain, but the steady stream of filming has, so far, been helping to pay the bills at the beloved neighborhood fixture.

In addition to Mad Men, the motel has also appeared in True Blood, Win A Date With Tad Hamilton,Glee, Beverly Hills, 90210, and X-Files (twice).

Rooms are under 100 bucks a night, and it has a pretty good Yelp rating for a roadside motel.


Saving A Seat For You,


Builder Rekindles Inner Child

Posted in Movie Houses with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2012 by Christine Haskell

Thanks Mary for this wonderful addition to the Ghost and Mrs. Muir posts!!! I tried to look around for interior shots – what a wonderful project she undertook. I wish I could have seen it in person.

Your response to the posts on floor plans, here.

Bangor Woman has built three dollhouses, the latest: The Ghost And Mrs. Muir

Saving a seat for you,

Gull Cottage Dollhouse

Posted in Movie Houses, set design with tags , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2012 by Christine Haskell

A while ago I provided the floor plans for Gull Cottage. Here is an article on a doll house version.

“As seen in the October, 2005 issue of Doll House and Miniature Scene.
Gull Cottage from “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” is revisited, and Dan’s portrait of Captain Gregg appears throughout the article and on the cover.”

"He took me unaware!" "My dear, since Eve picked the apple, no woman 's ever been taken entirely unawares."

“He took me unaware!”
“My dear, since Eve picked the apple, no woman ‘s ever been taken entirely unawares.”

You Asked, I Listened…The Ghost & Mrs. Muir Cottage Floor Plan

Posted in movie houses, houses in movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2012 by Christine Haskell

It amazes me how interested people are in this movie, the memorabilia of this movie and the infamous house.

Mary Casey of Colorado sent this in…the floor plan from the house from in the pilot of the TV show. The house is located in Montecito, CA. They added the Widow’s Walk, the stone lions, and the ship’s wheel on the balcony outside the master cabin.

She went on to tell me “If you are a fan of the show, the differences are easy to spot – the biggest being the real house in CA has 8 steps that lead up to the front porch, where the TV house had two steps and a wide porch that goes around the whole outside of  the house.”

60 Olive Mill Road, Montecito, CA
Here is the youtube link when the house went up for sale.
May confessed:
I think I first saw this film when I was about… maybe 12 or 13.   I saw the TV show first, loved it, especially the ghost, and my mother told me the show was based on the movie, that was based on the book. Of course back then (1970!) there were no VCRs or DVD’s, but I happened to look in the TV Guide and found out that it was running on some afternoon movie channel during the week.

I cannot tell a lie – at that point in my life, my mother was divorced and raising four of us, and sometimes we had babysitters, and sometimes not.  I actually faked sick to stay home and see the movie!   Loved it, in a whole different way than the TV show, but did think it was rather sad that he left her, and didn’t come back until she died.  Then I found the book, in paperback (now a collector’s item!) and read that, and was relieved to know that in the book he left, but came back years before she died.

Tell us when you first saw The Ghost and Mrs. Muir…

Saving A Seat For You,


Posted in Movie Houses with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2011 by Christine Haskell

HERRIMAN, Utah — Cute is the Walt Disney Company’s stock in trade, but there is nothing soft and cuddly about how it protects its intellectual property.

The sherbet-colored structure sits at the intersection of Meadowside Drive and Herriman Rose Boulevard here, but you don’t need directions to find it. Just look for the swarm of helium-filled balloons that the developer tied to the chimney of a house that has a gabled roof, scalloped siding and a garden hose neatly coiled next to the porch — all details taken from “Up,” the 2009 hit about an old man and his flying abode.

The house is a product of the strange obsession of one man — in this case, the son of a former governor — his connections, the film’s powerful director and a company that is trying to evaluate with more care the hundreds of requests it receives a month from people wanting to use its characters and imagery.


Movie Real Estate: Color Therapy

Posted in Movie Houses with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2010 by Christine Haskell

Great post from comparing two films

that utilize the same color scheme in their production design: monochrome grey (or grisaille). The first is Woody Allen’s lugubrious Interiors, a personal favorite; and Hitchcock’s Rear Window, everybody’s favorite.

Interiors made a strong impression on me at an early age, and its production design is indelibly etched in my memory. Geraldine Page plays Eve, a sophisticated matriarch who can only give to others through her work, the decoration of interiors. The rooms she designs are elegant, spare, precise and refined. They are also emotionally withholding and full of refusal.

Interior Grey

Eve’s own dining room in the Park Avenue apartment she moves into after her husband has left her. The room is painted grey, including the follies on the back wall, and there’s no space for other colors, clutter, passion or unwanted emotions.

More on this post, click here.

Saving a seat for you,


Movie Real Estate: Grey Gardens

Posted in Movie Houses with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2010 by Christine Haskell

I know I’m a bit late posting on this one, but it’s worth noting the set. I would recommend seeing the documentary and movie back to back, as they were both spectacular on their own, but inform one another.I collected some photos from Grey Garden News and Old Hollywood Glamour.

Grey Gardens starred Drew Barrymore as “Little” Edith Bouvier Beale and Jessica Lange as “Big” Edith Bouvier Beale and each gave a very moving and sensitive performance. It’s just had it’s first high school performance, that would have been interesting along side playbills for Hello Dolly!

I was left with strong feelings of what mental illness really means (clearly there was an alternate reality present when cats are peeing behind large artwork) however I also felt these women had really found an independance for themselves and truly cared for one another.

Costume designer Cat Thomas covered the 1920’s through the 1970’s fashion brilliantly. Dressing characters that were based on true eccentrics-come-fashion-icons without turning them in to caricatures is no easy task.

An interview from sums it up best:

STF: Little Edie is one of those characters that has been so deeply mined for inspiration over the years–fashion just seems to love her. What do you think is her enduring appeal? And how did you manage to bring your own new twist to something that we’ve already seen so many iterations of?
CT: I think the thing that’s interesting about her, and one of the reasons people are so drawn to her, is this evolution of a young woman 17, 18 years old, you get to see both of them [Big Edie and Little Edie] at the prime of their lives with all of this glamour and ease and in the context of the Hamptons. It was sort of a careless, carefree, youthful and also very innocent moment. And then you get to see that departure point, which is important. She was beautiful, she was modeling, it was the pinnacle of her life, and then you get the deterioration which she still manages to make fashionable.

Edie Beale, Style icon, in her "costume for the day"

Visit Grey Gardens News for all things Grey Gardens!

Resting Decay

Eery to see pianos in such run down condition and seeing the singing in the movie makes this photo even more silent.

The main artery in any home...the stairwell.

Beautiful glass details

Set Design Print of living room

Set Design Print: Living Room

Grey Gardens, in the manner it is accustomed.


Living Room

Living room, this portrait later kept Big Edie company by her beside, and was a frequent area for the cats to relieve themselves.

Staged aging...

The start of seclusion...I love the asian inspired wall paper and classic 1950s bedding, everything in that time period had a "frosted paint" job. A pity, because it was generally over very valuable hard wood.

Independant to the end...

To learn how you can get your own Edie Doll, complete with Wonderbread bag for the attic raccoons, click here.

Saving a seat for you,



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