CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: Planning and Development at Rim Village: 1886 – present F. Planning for a new Rim Village: 1968-1977

Crater Lake National Park: Administrative History by Harlan D. Unrau and Stephen Mark, 1987

 CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: Planning and Development at Rim Village: 1886 – present
 F. Planning for a new Rim Village: 1968-1977

The advent of a new contract seemed to signal that park planning was headed in a coherent direction, but what few changes were made at Rim Village by the NPS resulted from the Water Crisis of 1975. Site development between 1967 and 1975 was basically left to the concessioners, a situation that brought the involvement of conservation groups in park planning for the first time. The substance of Rim Village site planning, however, changed little even though the master plan format gave way to a general management plan.

On December 20, 1967, contract no. 14-10-9-900-69 was signed by the NPS and the concessioners, The contract was to have a 30 year life and was only the fourth of such length in the history of the NPS. [77] The lodge was sold to the NPS with the concessioner now operating it on a lease. The contract stipulated that the concessioners could enlarge the cafeteria, remove the cold water and Ponderosa cabins, and build an employee dormitory.

The signing of the contract virtually coincided with official approval of a new master plan in January 1968, but revision of the plan began the following September. The revision showed an additional access road to the lodge similar to the 1961 plan. The traditional access from the plaza to the west rim drive was to be obliterated, making the proposed road the primary access to Rim Village. The new road would lead to parking for the proposed visitor center, something that was now to be constructed on the site of the Kiser Studio. There were two arterial roads that branched off from the new road so that the roadway next to the promenade could be restored to pedestrian “green space”. One arterial was to lead to a concession area that was to include an expanded cafeteria and a new concessioner’s employee dormitory, while the other was to go to parking for a rebuilt lodge. [78]

The master plan continued to tie the proposed changes at Rim Village with the headquarters move. NPS officials saw that appropriations for constructing a new headquarters away from Munson Valley were not likely in the near future, so Superintendent Spalding suggested organizing a cluster office that could manage Crater Lake and nearby parks from a headquarters in Klamath Falls. [79] In spite of warnings about the problems that had plagued administration of the park when its winter headquarters were in Medford, the Klamath Falls Cluster Office was created June 23, 1969. [80] Spalding was named general superintendent of the group that included Crater Lake and three national monuments: Oregon Caves, Lava Beds, and John Day Fossil Beds, Later that year, the group became part of the agency’s newly created Pacific Northwest Region, an entity whose headquarters were located in Seattle.

Although the NPS was able to complete the sprinkler system and some other fire safety improvements in the lodge during 1968, most construction in the wake of the new contract was financed by the concessioners, An addition to the northwest side of the cafeteria was built in 1970 to provide more space for the gift shop. In 1971, a bar and lounge were part of a new addition to the cafeteria’s northeast side while the comfort station at the rear of the building was converted into a transformer vault. [81]