On one of our road trips a while ago we were driving through the town of Bedford in Pennsylvania and came across this interesting sight. I had never seen anything like it before, a building in the shape of a coffee pot. This was my introduction to 'programmatic architecture'.
The marker you see Gregg reading had this information on it:
“The increased number of automobiles during the Lincoln Highway era (1912-1940) led to the development of programmatic architecture. Proprietors took daring approaches to appeal to the new motoring public.
All across the country oversized buildings were being created in the likeness of objects. Some of the more famous were constructed in Pennsylvania along the Lincoln Highway route – the Coffee Pot, the Ship Hotel, the Shoe House, etc. Many have fallen into disrepair.
In 1927 Bert Koontz designed and quickly erected The Coffee Pot on the west end of Bedford. His intention was to attract visitors to his adjacent gas station. The early restaurant served ice cream , hamburgers and Coca-Cola . In 1937 it was converted to a bar and a hotel was built in the rear. The Coffee Pot became a regular stop for Greyhound Bus Passengers since the bus depot was next door. In an effort to save the Coffee Pot, the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor moved it to this location and restored it in 2004.”
You can find out more about this kind of building here. More information on the Coffee Pot can be found here.