Architects Victor Robinson & Glynn Douthit
Builders Asa Douthit and son, Bob, with Opal Douthit and his sons helping
Built c. 1950
Address 10300 Bridge Bay Road, Redding, CA

The Douthit family took on the task of designing and building a one of a kind building that would serve as a restaurant for the Bridge Bay resort of Shasta Lake. The results have stood as a crowning achievement to this day.

They were tasked with some major difficulties. First the site was chosen because of the majestic view of Shasta Lake, Mount Shasta and the engineering feat of the curved double deck railroad and freeway bridge that spanned the Lake. The site however is on a hillside, and had to deal with a highly variable water level table. Next, standard construction would prohibit enjoyment of the complete view, allowing only a table or two to see part of it. Third, the restaurant needed to blend into the natural resort setting, and not be some ugly eyesore. Fourth, the restaurant needed to be tastefully inviting to those traveling on the freeway, beckoning them to come dine.

To resolve these difficulties, Glynn Douthit drew up plans based on a wagon wheel concept. They would install a tall center post that served as a vertical axle to support wagon-wheel like floors. This would eliminate the need of the typical external support walls, leaving them open where large windows could be used for the view. It also solved the problem of building on an unstable hillside.

The use of the telephone poles probably came from Glynn's work during the war for the telephone company. The government kept him state-side to help increase communication capabilities here at home. This was seen as being crucial to public safety during WWII.

With the plans drawn up, the whole family at times came to help in the building process. Glynn’s brother, Asa Douthit, was a building contractor in the Redding area, so naturally he oversaw the actual construction process. Asa was very strong and held the big beams in position while others worked on fastening them. Glynn’s sister, Ruby, was married to an architect that helped with the plans and with construction as well. Glynn’s brother, Opal Douthit, lived down in the Sacramento area and brought his family and boys up to help.

The result was spectacular. It was also the first of many round buildings that Glynn went on to design for churches, homes and businesses. Not only were patrons able to enjoy the view from any point in the restaurant floor, they could go eat or stand outside on the round deck.

The fact it has stood the test of time, earthquakes and use bears testament to the incredible ability and skill of the Douthit men of California!

Below is a navigation system that showcases the photographs of the restaurant and offers more details. Enjoy!

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