Use the smaller-sized text Use the larger-sized text Use the very large text

Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

View Summary/Photo Page

Back

Rest Haven Motel (Tim Heggland photo, 2010)

Rest Haven Motel (Tim Heggland photo, 2010)

Rest Haven Motel (Tim Heggland photo, 2010)

Rest Haven Motel
E5116 United States Highway 14, Spring Green, Sauk County
Architect: Jesse C. Caraway
Construction Date: 1952

The Rest Haven Motel was built in 1952 just outside the village of Spring Green. It catered to the greatly increased automobile traffic and automobile-related tourism that was transforming the American lifestyle following the end of World War II. The original owners were Mr. and Mrs. John Michels and their architect was Jesse C. Caraway. Caraway was one of the earliest members of Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin Fellowship, which was located some three miles south of Spring Green across the Wisconsin River at Taliesin, Wright's Wisconsin home. Caraway's motel design adapted a number of features that are closely associated with Wright's Usonian residential designs; these were developed during the years that Caraway was at Taliesin. The typical Usonian house features a visually prominent central core that contains the house’s utilities, its kitchen, and its principal living spaces. Attached to this core are one or sometimes two bedroom wings. Caraway’s design for the Rest Haven also features a visually prominent central core, which in this case contains the motel's office and owner’s living quarters, and it also has two wings attached to this core at a 120 degree angle. These contain the motel's 11 rental units. In addition, this V-plan building has broad cantilevered canopies that shelter its exterior walls, and these canopies are carried through into the interior of the rental units. The Rest Haven Motel is also a very early example of a commercial building that was completely clad in the new aluminum siding that would soon become ubiquitous throughout the United States. Reynolds Metals supplied the siding as part of an advertising campaign whose purpose was to showcase what in 1952 was still a very new building material.

The Rest Haven Motel has had several other owners. It continues to function as a motel and it is now called the Usonian Inn. It is open during normal business hours.

Back

select text size Use the smaller-sized textUse the larger-sized textUse the very large text