December 15, 2022

Crest Kitchenette Motel and Blue Marlin Lodge Listed in National Register of Historic Places

The Blue Marlin Lodge and the Crest Kitchenette Motel in Virginia Beach have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) by the National Park Service (NPS). These 1960s mid-century modern Virginia Beach motels were nominated under the Virginia Beach Oceanfront Resort Motels and Hotels (1955-1970) Multiple Property Document (MPD) that was approved in 2021 by the NPS. These properties join the Jefferson Manor Motel Apartments in being listed in the NRHP under the MPD. All three buildings were designed by local architect William Burton Alderman.

The Crest Kitchenette Motel, which today operates as the Cutty Sark Motel and Efficiencies, is located on the west side of Atlantic Avenue at 37th Street. William Winner built and operated the Crest Kitchenette for 10 years. The Modernist-style, three-story, four-bay concrete block building faces the ocean. The eye-catching facade has a staggered arrangement with the two center bays projecting slightly beyond the end bays. Exposed, prestressed concrete beams comprise both ceiling and floor support in the balconies. Melvin and Jimmie Koch purchased the building in 1977 and Mrs. Koch still actively operates the motel, which has changed very little from the original design.

The Blue Marlin Lodge, located on the east side of Pacific Avenue between 24th and 25th streets, currently operates as the Blue Marlin Inn & Suites. It was designed by Alderman in 1965 for Dr. and Mrs. John Anderson. Dr. Anderson had already established his dental office on the property, and it was incorporated into the design of the motel. Subsequent owners have since converted the dental and original motel offices into five guest room units on the first-floor level. In 1977, a second floor was constructed above the one-story wing. Alderman's original design is intact with its character-defining two-story guest room wing, open concrete stairs, walkway, and balcony with distinctive X-shaped braces, metal screen railing, honeycomb-patterned concrete tiles cladding the south end exterior wall, and a section of the original folded-plate roof.

Kristin Kirchen of Iron Dog Preservation prepared the Crest Kitchenette nomination and Architectural Historian Debra McClane developed the nomination for the Blue Marlin. Kirchen and McClane are the authors of the Oceanfront Resort Motels MPD. Funding for the nominations was provided by the City of Virginia Beach through the Historic Preservation Commission. To read these nominations and for more information about the National Register of Historic Places and nomination projects sponsored by the Commission.

1960s postcard images of the Crest Kitchenette Motel and the Blue Marlin Lodge, recently listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

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