In 1936, a local businessman by the name of Marion B. Meyer traveled from State College to Miami, Florida, where he came across something he had never seen before. It was a service station which repaired cars, provided gas and oil, offered home cooked meals, and comfortable lodging. It was called a motel which was short for “motor hotel.” The main building was designed in what was known as the “art-deco” style of architecture.
He was so excited about this modern way of providing services to travelers that he brought this idea back to State College. Mr. Meyer knew that travelers would appreciate a comfortable place to stay overnight, have their car serviced, and enjoy a delicious meal before heading out of town. He called his new business the Autoport and it became the first motel in Pennsylvania.
Since then the Autoport has seen many changes including the service garage being converted into a coffee shop, the addition of a heated pool, a lounge, and modern motel rooms replaced all but five of the original cottages.
In 2006, while attending a breakfast meeting at the ‘Port, local architect Greg Mussi learned that after more than 70 years in business, the Meyer family decided to put the property up for sale. The Autoport Restaurant and Motel was slated for demolition to make way for a convenience store. Greg, whose architectural background is in historic preservation, convinced his wife Lynda that they needed to purchase this local landmark before it was destroyed.
As a result, the Autoport Restaurant and Motel was purchased in 2007 by locals Greg and Lynda Mussi and close friend Katy Punt. At that time, renovations were made to the Lounge and Dining Room, restrooms were upgraded and made handicapped accessible, the outdoor patio area was improved and an outdoor grill was added. A new menu was introduced. Plans are currently underway to renovate the Coffee Shop into an urban-themed diner.
Greg, Lynda, and Kathy believe that utilizing grown, organic produce in our dishes supports the local farming community, enhances the connection between the plate and it’s source, and ultimately increase the quality of the culinary experience. Therefore, maximum effort is made to integrate local, organic produce, and meats into our menus whenever possible. Some of the local farms that provide foods to the Autoport are Bergenblick Farm in Linden Hall, Green Grove Garden in Boalsburg and Black Walnut Farm in Potter Township.
On behalf of the owners of the Autoport, we would like to thank you for choosing us and look forward to your next visit.