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Bunkhouse

Banff National Park of Canada, Alberta, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1997/07/03

General view of the Bunkhouse, showing its simple massing as a single-room with a gable roof, extended on log purlins over the entrance to shelter the stoop, 1994.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, 1994.
Corner view
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Other Name(s)

n/a

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1936/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/12/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Bunkhouse in the Skoki Ski Lodge National Historic Site of Canada in Banff National Park of Canada is a rustic style, simple one-room log structure with a gable roof extending over the entrance on log purlins to shelter the wooden stoop. It is located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, adjacent to a glacier fed mountain stream and surrounded by a forest filled with spruce and white bark pine at an elevation of 2,164 metres in a clearing on the banks of Little Pipestone Creek. Along with three other guest cabins, it was built in 1936 by Earl Spencer for noted Banff guide, outfitter and log builder James Boyd, to accommodate the growing number of ski-tourists to the park and completes the site. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Bunkhouse is a Classified Federal Heritage building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value
The Bunkhouse is a very good illustration of the national theme of recreation and tourism and its development in Canada’s National Parks. The first such facility to operate on a commercial basis in Canada, the bunkhouse, as part of the facility, was built specifically to cater to the growing number of ski-tourists in Banff National Park of Canada and represents the pioneering phase of skiing as a major recreational activity in North America. The lodge remains a major destination point within the park and the bunkhouse continues to accommodate park visitors from all over the world.

Architectural Value
The Bunkhouse is a very good example of the rustic design tradition in Canadian national parks and winter resort construction. It serves as a unique example of an original traditional log design and construction using local materials and workmanship long associated with the Banff region.

Environmental Value
The picturesque mountain setting around the Bunkhouse, the layout of the buildings and their relationship to each other, historic trails, footpaths and unspoiled setting reinforce its historical relationship to the site. The Bunkhouse remains on its original site to the west of the main building. It is along with four other guest cabins arranged in a semi-circle around the centrally placed main building and maintains its original physical and functional relationship to the other buildings, the site and its natural surroundings. The Bunkhouse and other cabins act as a visual landmark for tourists in the park and is a well known skiing and hiking destination for travellers. Access to the site has not changed, being restricted to traditional methods of transportation thus maintaining its original remote wilderness quality.

Sources: Kate Macfarlane, Skoki Ski Lodge, Banff National Park, Alberta. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 96-105; Bunkhouse, Skoki Ski Lodge, Banff National Park, Alberta, Heritage Character Statement 96-105.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Bunkhouse should be respected.

Its rustic design tradition and traditional log design and construction as manifested in:
- its simple massing as a single-room with a gable roof, extended on log purlins over the entrance to shelter the stoop;
- its use of wood as the predominant construction material, mainly locally-hewn spruce logs;
- the walls of unscribed horizontal log construction with saddle-notched corners;
- door is centred on the front gable end;
- a single multi-paned window centred on each of the remaining three elevations;
- the patina of weathered wood;
- multi-paned windows, plank door, and the tongue-and-groove floorboards constructed of milled lumber;
- a wooden stoop and a rustic porch swing.

The manner in which the Bunkhouse contributes to the picturesque character of the mountain park setting.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1997/07/03

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Leisure
Park Fixture

Historic

Residence
Group Residence

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

Earl Spencer

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

8048

Status

Published

Related Places

General view

Skoki Ski Lodge National Historic Site of Canada

The Skoki Ski Lodge is a backcountry ski lodge facility built during the 1930s. It is located on the banks of Little Pipestone Creek, in the Skoki Valley north of Lake Louise, in…

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