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Main Building

Banff National Park of Canada, Alberta, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1997/07/03

General view of the Main Building, showing the patina of weathered wood, 1994.; Architectural and Engineering Services (A&ES), Heritage Recording and Techincal Data Services (HRS), 1994 / Services d'architecture et de génie, Section des services de relevés des richesses du patrimoine, 1994.
General view
General view of the Main Building projecting the rear wing of main building, viewed from east, 1994.; Architectural and Engineering Services (A&ES), Heritage Recording and Techincal Data Services (HRS), 1994 / Services d'architecture et de génie, Section des services de relevés des richesses du patrimoine, 1994.
General view
General view of the rear of the Main Building, depicting the massive stone chimney, 1994.; Architectural and Engineering Services (A&ES), Heritage Recording and Techincal Data Services (HRS), 1994 / Services d'architecture et de génie, Section des services de relevés des richesses du patrimoine, 1994.
Rear view

Other Name(s)

n/a

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1930/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/03

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Main Building at Skoki Ski Lodge National Historic Site of Canada, in Banff National Park of Canada is comprised of a rustic style, two-storey, gable-roofed structure with a one-storey, back kitchen addition also with a gable roof and a massive field stone chimney. There is a small shed roofed addition that was added along the length of the kitchen wing in 1935-1936. It was the original lodge structure built by Earl Spencer and a three-man crew for the Ski Club of the Canadian Rockies, pioneers of skiing as a major recreational activity in Canada. Twelve miles north of Lake Louise, the site was chosen following consultation with the Canadian Pacific Railway's (CPR) Swiss guides based on its suitability for skiing and on the availability of suitable building logs and water. Because of its size and central location, the main building, surrounded by five smaller guest cabins, is the most prominent building on the site and continues to accommodate visitors and ski-tourists year round. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

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

Historical Value
The main building 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 Skoki Ski Lodge represents the pioneering phase of skiing as a major recreational activity in Canada as well as the growth of recreation within Canada’s remote wilderness area, known as the back-country region.

Architectural Value
The main building’s exterior design and interior layout demonstrate very good examples of the rustic design tradition in Canadian National Parks and winter resort construction. It serves as an example of an original traditional log design and construction using local materials and workmanship long associated with the Banff region. Being the first building on site its design set the precedent for subsequent structures to the site.

Environmental Value
The main building’s picturesque mountain setting, its simple rustic design and role as nucleus of the complex reinforce its historical relationship to the site. It was the first building on the site and its historical relationship to its surrounding alpine landscape has evolved from a single structure in 1930, to a small rustic complex by 1936. Because of its size and central location, the main building is the most dominant feature on site. It maintains its original physical and functional relationship to the other buildings, the site and its natural surroundings. Access to the site is 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.; The Main Building, Skoki Ski Lodge, Banff National Park, Alberta. Heritage Character Statement 96-105.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character defining elements of the main building should be respected.
Its rustic aesthetic and traditional log design construction as manifested in:
- its simple massing consisting of a two-storey, gable-roofed structure with a one storey addition, also gable-roofed;
- wood as the predominant construction material with locally hewn spruce logs as the bulk of construction material;
- the walls of unscribed horizontal log construction with saddle-notched corners;
- the dormer windows and off center elevation articulating the front entrance;
- the back elevation distinguished by a single roof dormer, a massive field stone chimney and a projecting kitchen wing;
- the shed-roofed addition along the length of the kitchen wing;
- the projecting gabled porch roofs at both the front and side entrances;
- the patina of weathered wood;
- multi-paned windows, the plank door and the tongue-and-groove floorboards
constructed of milled lumber components;
- its simple interior layout and rustic exterior;

The manner in which the main building reinforces 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

Historic

Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building

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

8051

Status

Published

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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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