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Richardson Residents Want To Save COMO Motel

With almost 70 years, the local landmark was built in 1956
Photo: Save the COMO | Facebook

After learning the COMO Motel located on U.S. Highway 75 had been purchased by an unknown buyer, residents in Richardson organized to keep the local landmark in place. 

On June 12, 2023, a group of residents began an online campaign for the conservation of the motel by opening a Facebook account, a website and a petition on called “Save the COMO” that managed to gather over 2,000 signatures in a week. 

With an almost 70-year history, the COMO Motel was the first motor lodge built in Richardson, and it's the sole surviving testament of the golden age of American motels in the city. Between the ‘50s and ‘60s motor hotels (mo-tels) that provided lodging and parking, if you can believe the luxury, were all the rage for American tourists who traveled the country on their brand-new cars. 

The postwar boom that followed WWII brought with it an explosion in automobile sales which in turn, moved tourists from traveling on train to their own vehicles. And, like their owners, those vehicles also needed a place to stay the night, an accommodation that traditional hotels located at the edge of train stations did not provide.

While the motel craze faded towards the ‘70s and ‘80s for several reasons, the colorful, bold signs that lured tired drivers from the side of highways along with memorable artifacts like their tiny soaps, diamond-shaped keys, postcards and matchboxes remain as part of a lingering Americana nostalgia.

It is no wonder why residents in Richardson today are rallying against the demolition of this historical building, especially as it is at the center of one the most famous true crime stories from the area — according to Texas Monthly, COMO Motel was the place where Candy Montgomery and Allan Gore met during their affair in the late ‘70s. 

But it’s not just nostalgia that is bringing people behind the conservation efforts. Another reason listed in the residents' petition is the potential financial benefits preserving historic buildings could bring to the city. Citing a report by PlaceEconomics, the petition states that heritage tourism generates $12 billion every year in Texas alone. 

According to the online petition, the motel is set to be demolished to make room for a new drive-thru restaurant or a parking lot, although there are no specific details available.

If you want to help the community preserve this mid-century modern local jewel, sign in on the petition here. And stay tuned! According to the Save the COMO website, yard signs supporting the cause are coming soon.