The foundation wall of the old Glen Villa Inn is once again standing tall.
Rebuilding the wall has been quite a process.
In its prime the wall was the base of a grand structure.
Unfortunately, like so many summer resort hotels built of wood, it didn’t last.
A colour postcard of the hotel sent the year it burned had this poignant message on the back:
In the last year, the hotel wall went from this …
to this …
and finally to THIS!
The muddy ground makes it difficult to appreciate the impact the re-built wall will have but we are delighted with the results.
We left the check in the foundation wall that might have been a fireplace and we rebuilt the internal staircase. Now, we’ll be able to go easily from the bottom of the wall to the higher ground at the top.
The men from Paysage Lambert, a local firm we’ve used before who I can happily recommend, used stones from the original foundation wall to rebuild the new one. By looking hard they found good flat-topped stones for the steps.
I’m not sure yet whether the stairs at the top will turn in one or both directions — that is a decision I’ll make once the dirt piles are gone and the snow melts. Which means I’ll be working over the winter months to plan the next phase of this project. Because of course there has to be one.
The photo of the hotel ruins shows two beds edging the circular drive that turned in front of the hotel.
A postcard from before the fire shows trees, shrubs and hotel guests edging the drive.
At the moment I’m seeing a simplified version of the arrangement in the photo from after the fire. The gravel drive for horses will be a mown path with two beds alongside it planted with shrubs and perennials. Currently we mow a path about ten feet wide around the wall and we’ll continue to do that. If we plant perennial beds, they probably would be about the same width.
The down side of this idea: it would require a LOT of plants. The plus side: we have very few areas where sun-loving perennials can thrive and this area gets full sun for most of the day.
In the hotel’s heyday, an asphalt path led towards the lake. Remnants of it remain.
So a variation on Idea 1 is to extend the border towards the lake, flanking the remnants of the path.
The downside of this scheme: it would take even MORE plants! But wouldn’t it look splendid?
I could combine one of these schemes or the other with a make-over of the Yin/Yang, using a contemporary version of the strange four-trunked arrangement that stood on the hotel grounds.
Four young flexible trees could be trained together, but I’m not sure I’d like the result. I do like the idea of roses, though…
Ideas, anyone? What do you think?