The Rustic Landscape of Rim Village, 1927-1941
To: DSC Team Captain, Crater Lake Lodge Rehabilitation
Through: Chief, Cultural Resource Division and Regional Historical Architect, Pacific Northwest Region
From: Cathy Gilbert, Historical Landscape Architect, Pacific Northwest Region
Subject: Historic landscape resources and lodge rehab work
Construction activity associated with the rehabilitation of Crater Lake Lodge over the next four years has the potential to impact a variety of significant historic landscape resources in the vicinity of the lodge. For example, preliminary plans for a construction trench around the perimeter of the lodge have been developed in order to carry out structural stabilization and rehabilitation work beginning in FY 91. As proposed, the trench will extend around the lodge (approximately 830 linear feet), will be 3-5 feet wide and from 4-12 feet deep. Such a structure, however temporary, will have a tremendous impact on the integrity and survival of historic plant materials, because most of these resources are within ten feet of the building foundation. In addition, the need for unrestricted and open access to the building and areas immediately adjacent to the site during the four year period of construction will most likely create a condition of continuous ground and site disturbance. The purpose of this memorandum is to outline recommendations for mitigating potential impacts to the historic landscape, and to provide preliminary guidelines for preservation of significant landscape features.
II. Significant Landscape Resources
The primary historic landscape resources and features around Crater Lake Lodge include plant materials, rock walls, the promenade, secondary walkways and the entry plaza on the south side of the building. Recommendations for the stabilization, preservation or replacement of all significant landscape resources at rim village (including the lodge) will be included in the Historic Landscape Study, scheduled for review in December, 1989. Because the initial construction on the lodge, as discussed above, will have an immediate impact on historic vegetation, the following discussion and recommendations will address only plant materials around the lodge.
A. Historic Values and Significance
Plant materials around Crater Lake Lodge were installed between 1931 and 1933 as part of the “naturalization” program for Rim Village (see HLR). Foundation plantings were planted around the perimeter of the lodge in order to minimize the “abrupt transition and demarcation” between the building and the landscape. The objective was to make the building appear as though it “grew out of the landscape” and was part of the natural setting. This landscape treatment — massing plants around building foundations — was a critical aspect of the rustic landscape design ethic expressed at Crater Lake. At the lodge, large coniferous trees (10-14 feet tall) were transplanted from other areas in the park and clustered at the building corners to give height and define the structure within a landscape context. Shrubs were massed along the building walls between major tree clusters to reflect indigenous plant associations and communities. Over the years, many of these plantings have matured to a size that reflects the original design intent of the planting program at Rim Village, and are significant historic landscape features, both individually and in terms of plant composition. Because of these values, preservation of these plant materials is strongly recommended.
Because lodge construction will involve the use of heavy equipment and both short term and long term ground disturbance over a four year period, it is anticipated that all of the plant materials adjacent to the lodge will either require extraordinary care to survive or, more likely, be destroyed during construction. With this in mind, two approaches for preservation of significant plant materials are possible;
a) remove and salvage existing plant materials with the intent of replacing them after construction and/or;
b) replace materials in kind after construction and as part of the redevelopment package for the site.