Autoport Motel & Restaurant, State College, PA
In the beginning: (1930's)
The motel was started by Mr. Meyer in 1936. It was the first motel in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania’s first Motel, The Autoport is located in the heart of State College. HISTORY OF THE AUTOPORT MOTEL In 1936, a local businessman by the name of Marion B. Meyer traveled from State College to Miami, Florida, where he came across something he had never seen before. It was a service station which repaired cars, provided gas and oil, offered home cooked meals, and comfortable lodging. It was called a motel which was short for “motor hotel.” The main building was designed in what was known as the “art-deco” style of architecture. He was so excited about this modern way of providing services to travelers that he brought this idea back to State College. Mr. Meyer knew that travelers would appreciate a comfortable place to stay overnight, have their car serviced, and enjoy a delicious meal before heading out of town. He called his new business the Autoport and it became the first motel in Pennsylvania. Since then the Autoport has seen many changes including the service garage being converted into a coffee shop, the addition of a heated pool, a lounge, and modern motel rooms replaced all but five of the original cottages. In 2006, while attending a breakfast meeting at the ‘Port, local architect Greg Mussi learned that after more than 70 years in business, the Meyer family decided to put the property up for sale. The Autoport Restaurant and Motel was slated for demolition to make way for a convenience store. Greg, whose architectural background is in historic preservation, convinced his wife Lynda that they needed to purchase this local landmark before it was destroyed. As a result, the Autoport Restaurant and Motel was purchased in 2007 by locals Greg and Lynda Mussi and close friend Katy Punt. Today, The Autoport Motel is home to the infamous Clem’s Roadside Bar and Grill, and Toast one of the few smoker friendly bars in the state.
In the 1940's to the 1980's:
Some of the motel cottages were removed and then motel unit buildings were erected. Also, the auto garages were converted into dining room
Obituary of Don C. Meyer
Don C. Meyer, 93, of State College, died Sunday, June 28, 2020, at Juniper Village At Brookline.
Born September 28, 1926, he was the son of the late Marion Blanchard and Helen Louise Ellis Meyer. Don attended State College High School. After graduation, he joined the Army/Air Force and served during WWII. On June 12, 1948, he married Susan Bond Meyer. He and Susan loved to travel and went on many adventures during their 69 years of marriage.
Don received a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in Hospitality Management. Upon graduation he went to work with his father at the family-owned Autoport Motel and Restaurant. In the late 40s, Don took over as owner and operator and worked tirelessly to create a welcoming environment for visitors for 60 years.