The curious and ginormous Coffee Pot located along the Lincoln Highway in Bedford, Pennsylvania, is not an actual coffee shop, but rather a novelty landmark built in the shape of a coffee pot!
The Lincoln Highway was the first east to west coast highway built in the United States. Once completed, the highway stretched over 3,000 miles between New York City and San Francisco. The highway became a lucrative part of history - people were driving longer distances and towns benefited from the new passing visitors. Novelty Architecture diversions, like the big Coffee Pot, were a popular form of advertisement and enticed drivers to stop and visit and still do!
During it's glory days, the Coffee Pot was a classic American roadside attraction and lunch stand. It was designed and built by David Koontz in 1927 to attract customers to his adjacent to his gas/service station.
Photo courtesy of mtfca.com
Photo courtesy of The Municipal
The Coffee Pot stands an enormous 18 feet tall and 22 feet wide!
The Coffee Pot changed hands several times over the years. In it's early days, it was a diner serving burgers and ice cream. In 1937, it converted to a bar with a hotel in the rear behind it. Even after it closed in the 1980s, it remained a popular stop for Greyhound bus passengers since the bus depot was next door.
After years of disrepair, it was threatened with demolition in the 1990s. It sat for roughly a decade before becoming the property of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, an agency that works to preserve historic landmarks along the original Lincoln Highway. With the help of a state grant, the Coffee Pot was moved across the street to the Bedford County Fairgrounds and restored to it's former glory in 2004.
The building was purchased for the low price of $1, but the cost of moving it across the street to its current location and completing the restoration was more than $80,000!
Photo courtesy of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor shows the move in 2004.
This unique attraction is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of only a handful of similar type coffee pot structures that remain in the United States.
If you find yourself in Bedford, check out this example of novelty architecture from a classic era in American road trip history.
The Coffee Pot is still recognized as one of the most-loved driving destinations of Pennsylvania. You’ll find the coffee pot roadside attraction at 108 Telegraph Road, Bedford, Pennsylvania.
Have you visited this popular landmark? What else did you do while you were in Bedford?