Friday, May 4, 2012

Big Chief Roadhouse, Pond, Wildwood

Pond was long a good place to stop for travelers heading west from St. Louis. While the earlier Pond Hotel served the travelers of the 19th Century, the Big Chief Hotel provided more elaborate lodgings for the new automobile travelers passing through the area.
Spanish Colonial Revival in style, which is obviously not native to Missouri, the hotel predicted the oftentimes unique and eccentric hotels lining the original Route 66.

3 comments:

  1. Oooh it's beautiful. Is it occupied or vacant? I'd definitely buy it if it was for sale!

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    Replies
    1. It is occupied by a sports bar/restaurant right now.

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  2. Tom Maher - KirkwoodMay 4, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    This was originally a huge motel. esp. for the day, for the original Route 66 path. It had over 60 rooms (with garages, a'la Coral Courts) and was a tremendous complex with a lake and playgrounds and garage, etc., and the restaurant as well - which latter was upscale.
    When the highway was rerouted in 1933 (Watson road path, which morphed into I-44), the Big Chief took a huge nosedive. Most of the connected "cabins" then went in for "hourly rentals"...
    WWII brought a brief resurgence with rentals to workers at the Weldon Spring Powder Plant and the Nuclear Works. The units were rented after the war on a monthly basis until the middle '70s when they were razed.
    It's been through a series of owners since then.
    When constructed, there was also a tall "Spanish" tower at the rear of the main building - I think about three stories tall. It was demolished around 1960.
    It's been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2003

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A Blog detailing the beauty of St. Louis architecture and the buildup of residue-or character-that accumulates over the course of time.