This post isn't about my personal opinion of it. In the past five or six years, our family typically goes through Breezewood between 9pm and midnight on our way from Eastern North Carolina to Pittsburgh - and I have never experienced the notorious backups that people dislike so much. But I digress.
Earlier this week, I came across an amazing website that features aerial photos of Pennsylvania from the late 1930s to the early 1970s. It is called Penn Pilot - and is hosted by Penn State University. Trust me, you can waste a whole day looking at this site. It's a wonderful resource. So one of my first looks was Breezewood to see if they have pictures of the evolution of the town. Fortunately, I did luck out.
The first image below is of Breezewood in 1958. The Interstate Era was in it's infancy. The PA Turnpike System was still the pride of the Commonwealth, and a connection to Baltimore and Washington via Interstate 70 was in the very early planning stages (if at all).
For reference, I-70 will eventually tie in between 126 and the original Breezwood interchange. Also of note, sitting on the north side of US 30 between the interchange and 126, is the then recently opened Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge. The Gateway Travel Plaza sits right below it.
Now let's fast forward to 1967. The Interstate 70 connection has been open a couple of years and Breezewood was entering its heyday of being known as the "Town of Motels".
Breezewood changed a lot in the nine years between photos. The popular Post House opened in 1963 and sits just east of the 70/30 intersection. The beloved Post House closed in 2004. (Editors Note: I stopped there at least twice in the 1990s on various college bus trips.) The Howard Johnson's added a new building. And many many other motor lodges and motels have since opened.
So in 1967, Breezewood most likely looked something like this.
|Postcard from 1970 - Blown up photo via orangeroof.com|