Restoration and Rehabilitation ProposalThis proposal is being presented on behalf of John King and Rob Rossi to outline our proposed plans for the Motel Inn site.
The main building will include rehabilitation of these buildings to the 1970’s size and use, to accommodate the restaurant, meetings rooms and lounge uses common during that period.
Reconstruction of the bungalow courtyard is proposed because of the dilapidated and unsafe structural condition of the buildings. This work would be done for the courtyard-fronting units, and to replicate the original feel and context for this courtyard. Significant landscaping will also be retained and added in order to compliment this courtyard.
As of this date, the construction project is proposed to be a single phase development. All construction related to the Motel Inn would occur simultaneously with the additions to the Apple Farm proposed for the adjacent site.
The concept included amenities not otherwise available outside of traditional hotel services, including maid services, a restaurant and commissary, laundry facilities, playgrounds, and a fully stocked and staffed garage facility on-site, to accommodate the inevitable mechanical problems encountered with touring vehicles of that day. The motel site was also quick to offer special accommodations for traveling staff of visitors, most notably drivers and butler personnel.
The Heineman’s were soliciting investors for their projects, and felt it was important to construct an initial, prototype project, to engender the public’s interest and enthusiasm. The initial, and ultimately only, motel constructed was the Motel Inn site in San Luis Obispo.
The depression of the 1920-30’s took its toll on the Motel Inn site, and the property was lost to foreclosure.
MULTIPLE ERA’s of the MOTEL INN
In 1925, the Motel Inn opened with the main structures comprised of two main two-story buildings connected by a covered walkway, as well as approximately 15 bungalow units located around a courtyard, and a series of garage and driver’s units located parallel to the creek. The northerly main building appears to have primarily been for the restaurant operation. The southerly building served as the lobby/check in area and lounge, along with a manager’s office/quarters for the site.
During the ensuing years, the face of the Motel Inn changed to adapt to customer demands. In the late 1920’s, an automobile service station was added for the convenience of guests. Seating and bathroom additions to the main building to accommodate an enlarged meal service operation appear to have been made to the northerly building.
In 1932 a large addition was made to accommodate the growing popularity of the restaurant, which remained famous as a BBQ steak operation until its closure. This addition was done between the main buildings, taking up about ½ of the lineal frontage. In that era cowhands from distant ranches would spend their entire monthly wages at the lounge, restaurant and motel through an extended weekend. The Motel Inn was well known for that customer base.
In 1942, further additions to the front pergola area between buildings was enclosed, creating a larger lounge and further expansion of the restaurant. We believe these changes were made to accommodate the growing demand generated by Camp San Luis during World War II.
In the 1950’s significant expansions of the northerly building were made to introduce conferencing and meetings areas. These areas were added close to the food service areas of the restaurant, and actually included the absorption of two or three of the stand alone bungalows within the expanded structures.
In 1972 additions to the lounge were made to the rear of the main structures, again to expand the lounge and restaurant seating areas. These changes represent the last significant additions made to the Motel Inn buildings.
SELECTING an “ERA” to TARGET for PROJECT - OWNER’s OBJECTIVES
Developing a strategy for improvements to the Motel Inn site begin with our objectives for use of the site. In summary, these include:
Integrated in these objectives is a recognition that the automobile history of the Motel Inn should be emphasized in its historical context. While each independent bungalow had a lean-to shed for covering the autos, we believe visitor use would be better suited with car parking in a remote location.
The main courtyard behind the Motel Inn has been proposed to be maintained as originally constructed, with the one story courtyard-fronting bungalow footprints retained as well. This will maintain a pedestrian scale and orientation to this area. Unfortunately, the condition of these bungalow units is so poor that rehabilitation of these units is infeasible (see structural engineer’s report). These units have no structural integrity, and in many cases lack foundation systems or code-complying utilities. We have proposed reconstruction of these units largely on the original footprints so as to maintain the appearance of these units from the courtyard view.
The creekside garage and driver’s rooms are proposed to be removed permanently. This area would serve instead as a creekside trail, and tie into the Apple Farm projects, both existing and proposed to the north of the Motel Inn.
Building from these objectives, we have chosen to maintain the additions to the main buildings made through the 1970’s for the restaurant and meetings areas. This will allow the site to provide meals service throughout the day, and accommodate meetings trade, which was quite popular the final 20 years of its operation.
Further Motel Inn additions are proposed behind and around the original main building and bungalows. These additional rooms and added meetings/conferencing space would occur outside of the original buildings footprints, so as to maintain the original context and character of the Motel Inn.