In 1921, a pioneer ranch family opened a fruit stand along the US Highway 40 (now Interstate 80). The original fruit stand became a restaurant and due to its success grew to a series of small buildings. The owners saw a need for coordination in the development, so they hired us in 1957 to develop a master plan for the restaurant and the ranch.
The building master plan was based on a 16 foot modular system of incremental additions, renovations, and replacement of existing facilities. Work was completed in two major and several minor additions. The first phase completed in 1959, consisted of a new main dining room, additions and remodeling of the kitchen, an employee cafeteria, and a new entry canopy. The next major phase, completed in 1970 was an addition of five bays to expand the sales area, new restrooms, and administration offices. The Nut Tree sign is the front wall of what became a space-frame to replace the central sales space. Ten additional bays were also planned to be added onto the north east end.
The master plan for the ranch included a general aviation airport (later donated to the city), a miniature railroad running from airport to the restaurant, the original family farm house which was restored as a museum, and a plaza for outdoor dining. Future plans included two motels and additional restaurants.
Received AIACV Merit Award, 1965