In the Devco promotional video The Beginning, there is a scene where home owners on the golf course are enjoying their patio. With 11 golf courses within the walls of Sun City, suffice to say there are a goodly number of home owners living adjacent to those lush green spaces. The particular scene in the video culminates with this dialogue: “You might call a patio a symbol of the way of life out here…casual and relaxed.”
The video is from 50 years back and if anything, it has become even more so how people live. The outdoor lifestyle has become popular around the country and for warm weather climates it’s even better suited. It only makes sense communities like Sun City use their patios as an extension of their homes. Barbeques, bars, conversation pits and TV’s safely tucked under covered veranda’s add so much.
The first family to actually live in the home our museum now resides in were the McDonald’s. They bought the home from the Wager’s (their in-laws) and moved in in 1962. The patio became one of the favorite hangouts for them as well as the kids and grandkids when they visited from Colorado. In 1965 they converted it to an addition on the home, adding almost half again as much square footage on the 860 square feet in the Kentworth model.
Over the years the addition has served us all well. The space gave the McDonald’s room for their visitor’s and given us room for the new Sun City West display and our office. The problem was, it felt as if there was something missing. Being on the North golf course, it seemed like we should be able to go out back and lounge on a patio, enjoying that old Sun City way of life.
This summer we approached Connie McMillin, a longtime Sun City resident. Connie is a second generation Sun Citian (like so many of us), is a past president of the Historical Society and plays a major role in our very active speaker’s bureau.
We had hoped to encourage Connie to consider buying the naming rights to a patio out back which would allow us to build it without having to tap our reserves. She graciously agreed and we quickly set the steps in motion to get it built. The nearly 400 square foot covered addition gives us space to accommodate 30 – 40 people on the lighted expanse. Perfect for groups wanting to hold a meeting and then tour the museum.
On November 18 we opened The McMillin Terrace for an intimate gathering for the Sun City West unveiling. The evening was quite a hit, and the Terrace was the key to our success. It allowed us to do things we could never even think about, entertaining folks in an open and comfortable setting. The highlight was presenting Connie with a plaque that is hanging on the Terrace and launching the idea that naming rights for the museum are within reach for others.
The Booth Built Patio company lent a hand by donating half the cost of the materials and getting it built in record time. On Saturday December 11, we are planning an open house where we inaugurate the Terrace and show it to visitor’s wanting to see what the potential is for using it for their meetings.
Clearly, the Terrace is a blessing for us. It returns the first model home to the more traditional feel of an added outdoor living space where we can gather and be more “casual and relaxed.” Thanks Connie, job well done.
For more information on reserving the space, contact us at 623-974-2568.