Franklin Motor Inn

The Franklin Motor Inn was located off Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 22nd Street and Spring Garden.

Franklin Motor Inn - New York Magazine Ad 1980

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stayed here on his final visit to Philadelphia. It is also where most of the acts performing at the legendary Uptown Theater stayed. From Philadelphia magazine:

Built in 1959, the hotel used to be called the Franklin Motor Inn. New York boxing promoters used to put up their guys here. Hookers idled, businessmen prowled, and the bar used to stay open till 4 a.m.

There was an A-list presence too. The last time Martin Luther King ever visited Philly, according to a 1994 piece in the Philadelphia Tribune, he spent the day sick in bed at the Franklin Motor Inn, his favorite hotel in the city. Joe Frazier, a regular, always sat in the same seat, on the far right end of the bar. (Marvis Frazier tells me his father ate breakfast at the hotel at least once a week for more than 30 years, but really came to “play the numbers.”)

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One thought on “Franklin Motor Inn”

  1. Looks like this was posted a number of years ago, but wow, what memories. I was 19 and hired as a Room Service waiter. There were a lot of boxers (Jimmy Young?) who would order huge room service orders for their hangers on.. Sometimes I’d get stiffed and other times I’d get a twenty. Depended how high everyone was. I eventually got moved to the dining room and was abused every Saturday y a City Councilman who would drink his lunch. Cecil? What an interesting place it was.

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