Placed on National Register of Historic Places
|May 17, 2005, Farmington, PA – The Summit Inn Resort, formerly the
Summit Hotel, opens this season as a designated historic building on the
prestigious National Register of Historic Places. The hotel, located
along the National Road, is situated in the beautiful Laurel Highlands
and is just 45 miles south of Pittsburgh.
The Summit Inn, a favorite getaway for many vacationers, proudly holds a three diamond rating from AAA. The well-maintained hotel sits on 1000 contiguous pristine acres atop the Chestnut Ridge. It is popular among guests for sweeping picturesque views, quaint accommodations, fine cuisine, golf and swimming. The hotel is one of the last remaining grand porch hotels of its era.
According to the official documentation for the National Register, the Summit Inn is a distinctive important example of twentieth century Mission and Craftsman-influenced architecture built as a stop for travelers along historic US Route 40.
Clinton Piper, who researched and submitted the material for review by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, “It (the Summit Inn) stands as perhaps the only sizable rural hotel that exhibits elements of a particular style. The building’s dramatic rambling roofline with twin towers, its central block with a parapet gable, expansive porches, and prominent setting make it one of the region’s most notable hotels of its era.”
The Summit Hotel Company, comprised of a group of local business men, opened the hotel in 1907. The owners acclaimed it as “unequaled anywhere on the National Pike between Washington City and St. Louis.” The hotel and its ideal location (an easy drive from Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Md., and Cleveland, Ohio) made it a centerpiece for tourism in Fayette County and the surrounding area. Years later, the hotel would be joined by other popular area attractions such as Fallingwater, Laurel Caverns, and Kentuck Knob. Vacationers would also later enjoy outdoor sports, especially white water rafting at nearby Ohiopyle State Park.
The ownership changed hands through the years and in 1964 Maxwell Abbell sold the hotel to Eunice and Donald Shoemaker. Since then, the hotel has been owned and operated by the Shoemaker family.
The Shoemakers’ daughter Karen Harris is the current owner of the Summit Inn. Karen, who grew up at the Summit Inn, continues the tradition of the Shoemaker family of offering friendly service while preserving the atmosphere of the past.
“This is an exciting time for my mother and our family,” comments Harris. “The Summit Inn offers an experience that many travelers seek today, but cannot find. Our guests, many who return year after year, enjoy our accommodations reminiscent of the past, the panoramic views of the picturesque Chestnut Ridge, our friendly service, and the convenience of nearby attractions such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and his Kentuck Knob.”
“Our Mission-style architecture and our lobby displaying an original collection of Stickley furnishings set the proper mood for guests visiting to tour the Frank Lloyd Wright houses,” adds Harris.
The Summit Inn has hosted a number of VIP guests including US Presidents Warren Harding and Harry Truman, J.P. Morgan, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. All of these visits are documented and on display with the original hotel guest register in the foyer of the hotel. “Pete Dye’s father even golfed here on our course,” adds Harris.
The Inn joins a number of other historic landmarks in Fayette County
including Fallingwater, Kentuck Knob, Searights Toll House, the Issac Meason
House, and the Oak Hill Estate now known as Mount St. Macrina.
The National Register of Historic Places is the Nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture. The National Register is administered by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Built in 1907, the historic Summit Inn, a AAA rated three diamond property, offers guests a touch of historic class blending with modern convenience. The Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features over 90 quaint guest accommodations with private baths; nine holes of golf; indoor and outdoor swimming; fine dining; and panoramic views from the Great Porch. For banquets, reunions, or other special events, The Summit Inn features magnificent ballrooms that accommodate up to parties of 500, and provides the ideal setting for destination wedding receptions. Situated in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of western Pennsylvania, the Inn is approximately 50 miles south of Pittsburgh. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kentuck Knob and Fallingwater, Ohiopyle, and the Christian W. Klay Winery are just minutes from the Inn.
|Also See:||A Mainstay of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Tourism Since 1973, the Historic Strasburg Inn, Gets New Owners and a $1.1 million Makeover / August 2004|
|Interstate Hotels & Resorts Signs Agreement to Manage the Historic Yorktowne Hotel in York, Pennsylvania / November 2004|