If you have lived in Los Alamos for very long, then it is likely you have run into someone who has used a building as a landmark when giving you directions. Now, whether that building is still in existence or the business names they use still occupy the space is a different story entirely. It could be “turn by the Conoco hill gas station,” or “just past the Hill Diner,” or “where the Los Alamos Inn used to be.” Whatever it may be, landmark buildings are a guidepost for our everyday lives. This month we’re digging #InsideTheArchives to a landmark that stands at the entrance to Los Alamos, welcoming visitors and locals alike: the Hilltop House Motel.
The Hilltop House Motel was built in the mid-1970s and had significant additions, such as a restaurant, made to it in 1980–1981. The Hilltop House’s annex was added in the mid/late 1980s and was just across Central Ave. The business closed in 2013 and the building has changed hands a couple times, but remains vacant at this time.
What are your memories of the Hilltop House Motel? Did you ever stay there? Did you eat at one of the restaurants housed there (can you remember their names)? Help us bring this Los Alamos landmark to life with your stories in the comments.
Click "Read More" to see more photos and share your memories.
All photos from the Los Alamos Historical Society Photo Archives, and all but the first two are from the Waterman Collection. The scanned paperwork is from the Los Alamos Historical Society Archives and Collections.
The text in the images above is:
Hilltop House Restaurant adThe top of the phone book reads “48692 © The Mountain States, Telephone and Telegraph Company 1978 / See White Call-Guide Pages For” (the photograph partially cuts the page off). Under the heading “Restaurants (Cont’d)” are the listings “Los Alamos (Cont’d): Bertram’s Snack Bar, Bandelier National Monument 672-3606 / Club The 4244 Diamond Dr 662-7204 (Please See Ad Page 300)” and an ad for the HilltopHouse Restaurant. The ad itself reads: “Hilltop House Restaurant / A Family Type Restaurant / Mexican & American Dishes / Daily Specials / Breakfast: 6:30 A.M.-11:30 A.M., Monday Thru Friday, Sat. 7 A.M., Sun 7 A.M. / Lunch: 11:30 A.M.-3:00 P.M., New Specials Every Day / Dinner: 5:00 P.M.-8:00 P.M., Specializing in Blue Corn Tortillas / (Sundays 7 A.M.-3 P.M.) (Adjacent to Hilltop House Motel) / 662-7113 / Trinity at Central 662-7113.” Below the ad is the text “Los Alamos Inn 2201 Trinity Dr 662-7211 / (Continued Following Page) / It makes sense to dial your own Long Distance calls direct. It’s inexpensive, easy and much faster.”
Trinity Sights ad
The top of the image reads: “362 Restaurants / Classified Telephone Directory / © The Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company 1980.” The ad itself reads: “Trinity Sights / Steak, Seafood & Continental Specialities / Serving Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner / Private Banquets & Catering / Reservations Recommended / Phone 662-2441 / Atop the Hill Top House Motel, Trinity at Cental.”
The Real Estate Associates ad
The top of the image reads “320 Real / Classified Telephone Directory.” The ad itself reads: “Full Professional Real Estate Services / The Real Estate Assocaites Inc. / At Hilltop House, PO Box 650, Los Alamos, N.M. 87544, Central & Trinity, Tel. (505)662-7717 / Barbara Bohl 662-7918, Jim Gautier 662-5205, Taffy Gibney 672-3865, Maria Griffith 662-4330, Jane Hoffman 662-4739, Sundays & Evenings”
This cover page reads: “Appraisal of The Hilltop House Motel, Restaurant, Commercial Facilities, Located In Los Alamos, New Mexico / Hippauf & Associates, Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants.”
These articles are written by the Los Alamos Historical Society Staff. Many of these articles were originally published by the