The welcome arch spanned the two lanes and looked sturdy enough to drive a tank across. The rest of Church Street proceeds a half-a-mile or so from the sign to James Street and the middle of the village. This street and many of the adjoining side streets conjured up images of a quaint New England town with a profusion of oaks and maples surrounding well kept, two story, wooden-framed houses. The Village maintained a strip of grass between the curb and the sidewalks that run parallel to the street on both sides. The areas close to the houses typically displayed neatly trimmed scrubs and flowers.
“I’m ready to get checked into our motel then the rest of you can do whatever you want until dinnertime,” Mom said.
We turned left onto Crossman Street midway between the arch and downtown and proceeded to the Maple Crest Motel.
It was after five when we finished checking-in, which was a good thing because Mr. Root was only a part-time caretaker but had a full time job refinishing boats at Hutchinson’s Boat Works. His workday had ended at the same time we got to town. Consequently he was available to help us attempt to get the Buzz running. Mr. Root’s son, Wilford, and Wilford’s wife, Kay, owned the Maple Crest adding to the convenience and family atmosphere. The Motel’s location was just up the street from Otter Creek and Wilford’s dock where Buzz was tied up.
Kay called her father-in-law to let him know we had arrived. While we waited, my dad, Wilford, and I chatted in the motel parking lot.
Dad had designed the motel addition around 1950. In 1933, he graduated from Yale University with an architectural degree. Most all of Dad’s architectural career had been restricted to Pasadena or Santa Barbara, California except this project that he did for the Roots.
I knew Dad mostly designed houses, and I was pretty sure he’d taken on this assignment as a personal favor and the challenge of trying something different. A row of multiple units was attached to the back of the original house. Units at ground level ran adjacent to a parking area and perpendicular to the street. A second row of units overhead mirrored those below. A Monterey style, cantilevered upper walkway extended the length of the second floor and an overhanging roof sheltered the upper porch area from the elements.
Wilford said, “Gee, Mr. Clark, you sent us the plans but you never got to see how everything fit together till now. It has worked out great for us. The motel business supplements the income I earn working at the Uncle Sam Boat Tours and we make a comfortable living for ourselves and our daughter, Wendy.”
“The builder did a swell job. It’s hard to tell where they added the new section on. And Wilford, please call me Mancel. Mr. Clark makes me feel like I’ve skipped ahead to being a senior citizen,” Dad said.
I recognized the second floor Monterey porch design because when Dad added on to our board-and-batten farmhouse in Santa Barbara, he added an overhanging wooden porch to the second...