Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Our Mascot - The Green Falcon

Here is a picture of Lafayette Flats' mascot, a green Peregrine Falcon. How it came to be our mascot is a bit of a long story, but we think it's amusing.
Our Mascot, the Peregrine Falcon
(or is it a "Pear Green Falcon"?)

First, you might ask, why do we need a mascot? The simple answer is that we got the idea from our favorite hotel: 21c Museum Hotel. 

There are three 21c Hotels: Louisville Kentucky, Cincinnati Ohio and Bentonville Arkansas. We have visited two of the three and much of the inspiration for Lafayette Flats came from these hotels. Imagine a hotel that uses its common spaces as an art museum with everything from small paintings to large installations of kinetic sculptures; that is how 21c hotels are designed, and that is a large reason that Lafayette Flats is also filled with original art.

Shawn sharing the bathroom
with a friend at 21c Cincinnati
So one of the cool things about 21c hotels are its penguins. These four foot tall plastic penguins are everywhere in a 21c - the hallways, the lobby, in the restaurants and even in the guest rooms. Each location has its own color (Cincinnati's are yellow and Louisville's are red), but the size and shape are the same wherever you go. They add a great deal of quirky charm to the place.  (You can read more about 21c here, and more about the penguins here.)

A Pair of Green Falcons
So when we were developing plans for Lafayette Flats we decided that we would like to have our own mascot. We began brainstorming appropriate animals and colors and threw out things like blue squirrels, pink turtles and rainbow colored opossums. Nothing seemed quite right. So we got on the National Park Service website for the New River Gorge National River and found a list of wildlife that lived in the Gorge. When I came to the Peregrine Falcon on the list I shouted out "Peregrine Falcons!" which Amy heard as "A Pair of Green Falcons!" 

Well, that kind of stuck. 

So we went online and found some life like Falcon decoys that are sold in England - they use them to scare away pigeons and other nuisance birds like we do around here with fake owls.  After we got them we had to paint them green. To further the play on words, we chose "Pear Green" as the official color, so now even if they are alone, they are still phonetically correct. 

"A Pear of Green Falcons"
by Chris Dutch"
When we told this story to our artist friend Chris Dutch, he put yet another spin on it and sent us a hand drawn card with his interpretation: "A Pear of Green Falcons." We love it and it will soon be proudly on display somewhere in the building.

The Falcons will show up in random and unexpected places in Lafayette Flats to greet our guests, so don't be surprised if you run across one on your next stay!

You can find out more about Peregrine Falcons in the Gorge here.

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