Mountain Architecture: An Alternative Design Proposal
for the
Wy'East Day Lodge, Mount Hood Oregon

by Thomas P. Deering, Jr.


1. An extraordinarily detailed and complete history of Timberline Lodge is chronicled in Jean Weir's unpublished Ph.D. dissertation "Timberline Lodge: A WPA Experiment in Architecture and Crafts." (History of Art), University of Michigan (1977). Some additional information and a fine collection of photographs can be found in Timberline Lodge, edited by Rachel Griffin and Sara Munro (1978), and Timberline, by Carl Gohs (1973).

2. Francis E. Williamson, Jr., as quoted in Griffin, Timberline Lodge, p. 2. No mention of this proposal is made in any of the other references. Further, John Yeon mentions that "during all the time that I was involved with the Forest Service (through the ski club, hotel project, or Regional Planning) I never heard anything of Williamson's plan for the timberline area. . . . . I think it had no causal connection whatsoever with the [Timberline] Lodge project." (Letter to the author from John Yeon, September 23, 1986. Hereafter cited as Yeon Letter).

3. Thomas Vaughan, ed. Space Style and Structure, Building in Northwest America, (1974), p. 386, from "Summer Vacation Spent On Mount Hood This Year," an undated clipping in OHS Scrapbook 59, p. 46.

4. Weir, p. 15.

5. Vaughan, p. 468, describes Belluschi's scheme as an addition, whereas Weir, p. 16, makes a convincing argument that as the "revision was an extensive one" and was much larger than the original structure.

6. Weir, p. 17.

7. Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., in a memorandum to Chief Forester R. Y. Stuart, dated February 18, 1931, as quoted in Weir, p. 26.

8. Walter L. Creese, The Crowning of the American Landscape, p. 146.

9. Yeon Letter.

10. U. S. Congress, Senate. Public Values of the Mount Hood Area, by F. L. Olmsted Jr., p. 26, as quoted in Weir, p. 24. Weir also offers a distillation of the criticisms authored by Olmsted, pp. 24-30.

11. Yeon Letter.

12. Ibid.

13. Weir, p. 47.

14. Yeon Letter. Gohs refers to Griffith's scheme as being in the French Norman style, p. 14; and John Yeon describes it as "French Chateau" (Telephone interview, March 17, 1986).

15. Yeon Letter. Griffin, p. 3, mentions the Oregon Caves National Monument, but is more general and speculative about the origin of the style label.

16. Yeon Letter.

17. Weir, p. 56. Yeon comments that the "Disciples of the International Style would have considered it [Yeon's design] very deviant, too romantic and site specific; regional rather than universal." (Yeon Letter.)

18. Yeon Letter.

19. A copy of the text of the application appears in Weir, p. 70. The original may be found in the Records of the Work Projects Administration, WPA Central Correspondence File, Oregon, Record Group 69, National Archives, Washington, D. C.

20. These points are chosen from minutes of the September 23, 1935 meeting discussed by Weir, pp. 85-87.

21. Yeon Letter.

22. Ibid.

23. Weir, pp. 88-90

24. Other structures by Gilbert Stanley Underwood include a Lodge for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (1924) which was burned and rebuilt in 1932; the Challenger Inn, Sun Valley, Idaho (1939); the Federal Court House, Seattle (1937); and several railroad structures--see Architectural Forum, Vol 53 (December 1930): pp. 695-700.

25. Weir, p. 119.

26. Gohs, p. 18.

27. See Weir pp. 207-209 for a discussion of her background.

28. Ibid, p. 202.

29. See especially Weir, pp. 213-260 and Griffin, pp. 30-45.

30. Gohs, p. 30.

31. See Park and Recreation Structures, by the U. S. National Park Service, published in 1935 and 1938.

32. Weir, p. 124.

33. Gilbert Stanley Underwood and Burt B. Barker, as quoted in Weir, pp. 133-134.

34. Weir, p. 155.

35. Ibid, p. 159.

36. Letter from Gilbert Stanley Underwood to Regional Forester C. J. Buck, January 24, 1936. Unfiled Forest Service Documents. As quoted in Weir, p. 163.

37. Ibid.

38. Letter from Stanley Stonaker of Underwood's office to C. J. Buck, January 22, 1936, as quoted in Weir, p. 162.

39. Ibid.

40. Turner memorandum dated January 25, 1936. Progress of Timberline Lodge bound Book, Forest Service. As quoted in Weir, pp. 163-4.

41. Letter from Gilbert Stanley Underwood to C. J. Buck, March 3, 1936. Unfiled Forest Service Documents. As quoted in Weir, p. 170.

42. Letter from Gilbert Stanley Underwood to C. J. Buck, March 3, 1936 and telegram March 4. Unfiled Forest Service Documents. As Quoted in Weir, p. 170.

43. Letter from Gilbert Stanley Underwood to C. J. Buck, April 1, 1936. Unfiled Forest Service documents. As quoted in Weir, p. 173.

44. Weir, p. 272.

45. As quoted in Griffin, p. 5.

46. As quoted in Weir, p. 188.

47. Colonel F. C. Harrington, executive assistant to WPA administrator Hopkins at one point commented, ". . . . It is a lousey project, but we are in it now and we have got to get out. That's the situation." --Telephone conversation with deputy administrator Albright, September 3, 1963. As quoted in Weir, p. 186.

48. Project Application October 23, 1936, as quoted in Weir, p. 189.

49. Weir, p. 201.

50. Ibid, p. 275.

51. B. M. Harloe to assistant WPA administrator F. C. Harrington, June 11, 1936. As quoted in Weir, p. 276.

52. Letter from E. J. Griffith to WPA deputy assistant Aubrey Williams, September 3, 1937. As quoted in Weir, p. 281.

53. Grauer, Mount Hood: A Complete History, p. 77, Gohs, p. 7. - August 11, 2011: Grauer and Gohs claim that the Magic Mile was was only the second to be built in the world (after the one installed in Sun Valley a year earlier). An on-line reader points out that a pair of chair lifts were built in Sun Valley, making the Magic Mile technically the third chair lift. It was however, the first with metal towers.

54. Ibid, p. 71-74.

55. Ibid, p. 75, attributed to Assistant Ranger Warren Olney.

56. Ibid, p. 58.

57. Another small ski area, Cooper Spur, does exist on the north side of the mountain, but it has virtually no impact on the commercial operations of the south side areas which are much more accessible to Portland.


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Master of Architecture Thesis
(M. Arch - University of Washington - 1986)

Extensive copying of this thesis is allowable only for scholarly purposes,
consistent with "fair use" as described in the U.S. Copyright Law.
Any other reproduction for any purpose or by any means
shall not be allowed without my written permission.

Copyright 1986 © Thomas P. Deering, Jr.