This story was originally written by orlandoretro.com and is a part of an ongoing partnership with Bungalower to educate and familiarize Orlando residents with important local historic landmarks.
If you’ve ever driven down Orange Blossom Trail, you know the iconic neon sign. But you may not realize the Parliament House (Facebook | Website), now celebrating it’s 40th Anniversary, was once part of a chain of motor inns with locations in other cities including Cocoa Beach, FL and Birmingham, AL.
When the Orlando site opened in the 1960’s, the area was a destination for tourists seeking a warm escape from winter weather and visiting Florida east or west coast beaches.
A 1962 New York Times article about Orlando’s growing appeal as a resort town noted the opening of the new 120 room Parliament House. The Times reported that Central Florida visitors were enjoying rockets and “other paraphernalia of the Space Age” at the Martin Marietta plant tour and the city’s “new showplace,” Colonial Plaza, the largest shopping destination in the Southeast.
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Editor’s Note: Orlando Sentinel recently revealed that Parliament House had emerged from bankruptcy and would potentially be the subject of an upcoming documentary film.