A giant silver coffee pot on the side of the road possesses a certain sort of magic, almost certainly the power to encourage drivers to conduct a hasty U-turn to make sure that what they saw was, yes – a building shaped like an enormous coffee pot.
The metal clad, round building, with an attached spout and handle, was constructed in 1959 for Kenneth Willis. It served as a restaurant until around 1978.
Some sources cite the original plans for the quirky building to have a globe on top that lit up as if it were percolating….and originally, a concrete walkway, painted red to suggest a hot burner on a stove, encircled the coffee pot building. A variety of businesses have taken advantage of the building’s distinctive features, including a vacation canoe rental and a fresh fish market.
America’s 20th century roadside architecture teems with examples of buildings designed and constructed to entice the traveler off of the road – restaurants shaped like apples, a florist shop built to resemble a woven wicker basket, an ice cream store in the shape of an igloo, the Mother Goose House in Hazard, Kentucky – the list is endless and exhilarating.
Americans responded to the automobile age and the network of roads snaking across the country with zeal and vigor. Route 66 is certainly one hotspot of roadside architecture, but if you stay alert (and are prepared to nimbly slam on the brakes and turn around), there is no telling what you can discover along roadways all across the country.