Architectural Monographs: Design for a Roadside Tavern

EWP Monographs Roadside Tavern 1

In 1920, the Fifth Annual Architectural Competition conducted by the White Pine Series of Architectural Monographs challenged architects to design a roadside tavern and its grounds, to be built of Eastern White Pine. The tavern was to include a restaurant and living quarters for the operators, with a 750-square-foot public dining room that could also serve as a dance floor in addition to a private dining room for men only.

EWP Monographs Roadside Tavern 2

One hundred designs were submitted in a variety of architectural styles, with the majority being “so good that they could not be readily or quickly eliminated,” a result that the Jury took as a sign of American architectural progress in general.

EWP Monographs Roadside Tavern 3

The first prize winner is an L-shaped design close to the road with parking in the back, making the most of a stream and apple orchard on the front of the site. “Simple and dignified, it is yet distinctly a tavern and not a private house, and the use of differing materials on the outside expresses very cleverly the main public parlors and the service wing.”

EWP Monographs Roadside Tavern 4

The second prize winner was right on this design’s coattails, with a plan that includes a hooded entrance and portico with sparing but effective wrought-iron details. Images of the plans for these two submissions as well as many more, and details about the competition, can be found in Volume VI, Issue IV of the White Pine Architectural Monographs.