Drive or walk down 10th Avenue West near West Bothwell Street on Queen Anne, and you’ll be surprised when you see Richard Knowles’ house. He’s built a miniature Rosebud Motel along the length of his retaining wall, with tiny windows and doors and even a crow on the roof.
In case you’ve been out of the loop, “Schitt’s Creek” (all six seasons are currently streaming on Netflix) is a comedy series about the Rose family, who lose their fortune and are forced to move to a motel in a podunk town named (you guessed it) Schitt’s Creek. The show picked up a record-breaking nine awards at this year’s Emmys.
Knowles loves the show; he just got done watching the series for the third time through. Favorite episode? “Open Mic,” middle of Season 4. “It’s a really feel-good episode,” he said. “Funny as all hell.”
The past three or four Halloweens, Knowles has done up his front yard like the Bates Motel from the original “Psycho,” every single thing in a shade of gray. Everyone loved it. Since he’s home because of the pandemic, he decided to one-up himself and make something new this year.
Knowles started building his miniature Rosebud Motel right after Halloween.
“When did I finish it? I’m still adding to it,” he said, laughing. Right now he’s making a little newspaper stand.
The tiny chairs and the little mailbox came from Target, but everything else Knowles made himself. He spent a week just getting the measurements right. The roof is made of foam tiles from Goodwill. The “brick” half wall is painted plywood, an exact copy, brick-for-brick, from the show. For the little ledge halfway up, Knowles used large pieces of packaging foam, sanded them down and painted them to look like cement.
“I was just bored with the whole COVID thing,” Knowles said. “It’s something to do, really. I’ve always been kind of artsy. It just worked out.”
In the week or so since the Rosebud Motel has been up, Knowles says he’s gotten about 200 groups of people a day coming by to see it, even a bunch of carolers last night. “You wouldn’t believe the positive outcome it has brought,” he said. “It’s a good ending to a bad year; a lot of people have put it that way.”
Knowles plans to leave up the Rosebud Motel a week or two into January. “I’m sure I’ll be talked into putting it up again next year,” he said.
“Schitt’s Creek” fan Laura Short drove over from Magnolia to take socially distant family pictures — dressed in character. She put her mom in tons of jewelry and bright lipstick (à la “Schitt’s Creek” character Moira), a black-and-white outfit for her son (like David), a dress with baby Uggs for her daughter (Alexis) and a flannel shirt for herself (Stevie).
Her dad? He was born with those Eugene Levy (Johnny) eyebrows, though she did highlight them with black eyeliner.
“Between the three of us kids, we always joked about Dad’s eyebrows,” Short said. “They finally came in handy.”