Why are we installing windows on the ground level of the piazza? Yes, we want to keep the integrity of the inn’s Mount Vernon look and design. But with much thought and concern, we decided to make this beautiful view more usable for our guests. In addition, we needed to find space for a farm store that could become an outlet for the estate’s lavender products. Also, weddings are becoming an important event at the inn and enclosed space was needed.
Last July we had the opportunity to host the Daughters of the American Revolution for a brunch. Many wore period dresses and were a delight to meet. Unfortunately a cool ocean breeze on the shaded piazza made us scramble for blankets and towels to keep the ladies from becoming chilled. In fact, we had to move them inside the inn for the history lecture aptly given by a visiting speaker. Patriotism ran thick in their blood that midsummer day, but it wasn’t able to keep them warm out there on the piazza.
Also, to establish a farm store, we thought long and hard about how we can make better use of our current buildings and facilities. Every day numerous cars drive down our long driveway to get a closer look and to snap pictures of the inn in its beautiful setting. Many people come to the front door and ring the doorbell to make further inquiries about this unique Mount Vernon look-alike. We appreciate their interest and feel that anything short of giving people an opportunity to make good on this natural curiousity only causes frustration.
With limited resources and a desire to minimize our debt, we chose to glass-in the ocean view piazza on the ground floor and install a spiral staircase down into the 93′ by 13′ vault that serves currently as an expensive storage area for leftover construction material. This wasted “vault” would become the Washington Lavender farm store, right next to the large lavender curing room in the basement. Visitors would be able to access the piazza directly via a sidewalk and an entrance door on the west side. They could relax as they savor a cup of George Washington Coffee on the piazza. They would also be able to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Strait of Juan de Fucaas as ships sail by on their way out to sea. Access to the front lawn for guests and summer weddings would still be through double glass doors in the center of the piazza.
Here are some pictures of the piazza progress.