Fallen flake


National Review's The Corner linked to the website of an idiosyncratic magazine called "The Believer". Not a religious website, I'm not sure how to characterize it. They have regular features on power tools, motels, and mammals.

The motel section included an article on the Snow Flake Motel in St. Joseph, Michigan, which was designed in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright by William Wesley Peters, Wright's son-in-law, and built in 1962. The motel is built in the shape of a snow flake and looks like no other motel you've ever seen, inside and out.

My friend Rick Koontz and I ended up spending the night there in the middle of our 1988 "Rust Belt" tour, a week-long swing through the Great Lakes states, taking in five major league baseball games in six days. (One of the motivations was to visit the old ballparks before they were gone forever. Funny to think that the newest one we visited -- Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati -- is gone too.)

After an early departure from a Chicago White Sox game in the original Comiskey Park (we were thrown out for complaining about drunken floozies spilling beer on us), we started out for Detroit. If I recall correctly, we were ready to find a place for the night, saw the sign advertising the motel and decided to stop. It was a bit down-at-the-heels then, but it seems that matters have gotten worse, and the owner, a Mr. Patel (really), despairs of attracting the investment needed for a first-class restoration.

Jet Set Modern has some good photos. So does the website of the motel, which has an aerial photo. If you're flying into Chicago from the northeast, look out the window as you approach Lake Michigan. It's easy to spot.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 17, 2004 11:29 PM.

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