Administrative History
NPS Logo

by Stephen R. Mark, Park Historian, 1991

Earlier work by Harlan Unrau of the Denver Service Center has documented park-wide planning from 1916 to 1987.* Since publication of the first two volumes of Crater Lake National Park's Administrative History in early 1988, park staff have communicated the need for more contextual information about the proposed redevelopment of Rim Village. Specifically, they wanted to know what the major planning thrusts have been in the past and how these efforts have shaped the site's development.

Rim Village has been the center of visitor activity at Crater Lake since before the park's establishment. It has received the most attention of any site in the park from planners and is currently the subject of a multi-million dollar redevelopment effort. This chapter covers the period from first documented use in 1886 to the closing of the Crater Lake Lodge in 1989. Particular emphasis is placed on planning since 1967, when a 30 year concession contract was signed by the National Park Service and Crater Lake Lodge, Inc.


The idea for an addition to the two volumes written by Harlan Unrau was first suggested by Dr. Stephanie Toothman, Chief of the Cultural Resources Division, Pacific Northwest Region. She not only saw the need to document past planning and development at Rim Village, but wanted to establish a precedent in making the park's administrative history a "living" work by periodically adding chapters.

Editorial assistance during the draft stage was rendered by Maureen Briggs and Kent Taylor of the park's Interpretation Division. The draft was reviewed by Mr. Unrau, Dr. Toothman, Alfred Staehli, Superintendent Robert Benton, and Associate Regional Director Richard Winters. Improvements to the initial version were facilitated by their comments and the availability of more source material which appeared in the eleven months after completion of the draft.

Stephen R. Mark
March 1990

A. Site Development: 1886-1913

The first documented use of the Rim Village site was by a U.S. Geological Survey party sent to make soundings of the lake in 1886. [1] Over the next 27 years, the site became the principal camping area at Crater Lake and, by 1907, was the focus of concession development in the newly established national park. Steep terrain, a short construction season, and the under-capitalization of the concession company all played a role in limiting early site development. A problematic road access and lack of a reliable water supply also served to keep visitor numbers low in comparison to major focal points in other national parks of the period.

By 1896, there is reference to the site being the major camping ground for parties visiting the lake, all of whom had to undertake a strenuous horseback or wagon journey from Fort Klamath, Prospect, or Diamond Lake. [2] That year some 50 members of the Mazamas mountaineering club gathered near the future site of the Crater Lake Lodge in an effort to promote the lake as being worthy of national park status. One account of the outing advised future visitors that the best place to obtain general views of the lake was Victor Rock, and the easiest descent to the shore from the camping ground was down a narrow canyon to Eagle Cove. [3]

Six years later, Crater Lake National Park was established and W.F. Arant was appointed first superintendent. Victor Rock was receiving enough visitor use by 1903 for Arant to propose that an iron railing be placed on the outcrop for safety. [4] In 1904, Arant asked for an appropriation to construct a visitor registration building near the site of the future Kiser Studio but limited funds and road building activity dictated park headquarters be made at Annie Springs. [5]

Prior to 1905, the only road serving the Rim Village site was a rough wagon track up Dutton Creek that had been built in 1869. This route had proven so unsuitable by the time of the park's establishment that most visitors were going to the camping ground by way of Munson Valley and walking the last mile. Arant remedied the situation somewhat in 1905 by opening a road that traverses Castle Crest (in order to climb out of Munson Valley to get to the camping ground), a route which approximates that of the present Raven Ski Trail. [6]

The new road allowed Arant to turn his attention to other matters affecting what he called the "Camp Ground" site. He asked for $600 to improve what had become a dangerous descent to Eagle Cove by allowing visitors to make use of a cable while on the trail. [7] Some work was done in 1906 and the route was renamed the Rim Camp Trail.

Concession operations began in 1907 with the establishment of Crater Camp in the vicinity of what is now Crater Lake Lodge. For the first two seasons, Crater Camp consisted largely of a modest frame structure that served as a kitchen and a few tents. The Crater Lake Company became better capitalized in 1909, when W.G. Steel lured Portland developer Alfred L. Parkhurst to take over as general manager and buy most of the company's stock This led to construction of a crude water system that utilized Munson Spring by means of a hydraulic ram and wooden pipes. [8] The 1909 season also saw the start of the Crater Lake Lodge, but for the next two seasons work was slow due to labor disputes, supply problems, and financing difficulties. In early 1912, however, Parkhurst was granted a 20 year lease on the hotel site, so he decided to put a number of tents west of the unfinished lodge to provide a source of income while the building was being completed. A September 1912 windstorm damaged many of the tents, so Parkhurst felt the need to develop more permanent accommodations on the site. He paid the lodge's architect to draw plans for several six-room cottages, but these were never built. [9]

When Steel ousted Arant as superintendent in June 1913, one of the reasons he gave for seeking the position was that he would better coordinate concession development with government-financed improvements. Congress appropriated over $600,000 in 1912 to start construction of a road around the lake in addition to realigning much of what Arant had done since the park was established. Work began in 1913 and was directed by the Army Corps of Engineers. One the their first projects was to build a new stretch of road to the hotel site, one with considerably less gradient than Arant's road of 1905.

B. The First Rim Village: 1914-1926

A new road to the lodge and campground was opened in 1914, and coincided with the first comprehensive planning for what was now called Rim Village. Little came from the planning, however, because the Department of Interior (the National Park Service assumed managerial responsibility in April 1917) had neither the funds nor the infrastructure to direct the site's development. Visitation increased enormously during the years following World War I, so the NPS soon found itself in the position of having to accommodate an automobiling public and its associated impact.

The name "Rim Village" can be attributed to Mark Daniels, the first General Superintendent of National Parks. [10] His position was created two years before the birth of the National Park Service to facilitate orderly development in national parks. Daniels visited Crater Lake in August 1914 to begin work on a model village similar to the one that he had planned for Yosemite National Park. Daniels' villages were to include sanitary, water, and telephone systems, electric lighting, and a system of patrolling (presumably by a newly created ranger force that he was advocating). Building locations were to be carefully thought out and the type of architecture determined by careful study. [11]

Like his successor Stephen Mather, Daniels believed that there must be some plan for the development of accommodations in national parks. Daniels delineated four classifications of accommodation: the hotel or mountain chalet, the permanent camp (where the tourist sleeps in a tent and eats in a dining room), a camp where the tent is rented and the tourist cooks his own food (having purchased it at the village store), and a camp where the tourist brings his own tent and food. [12]

Although it is probable that Daniels designed three trails that were constructed near the Crater Lake Lodge during this period, most of his development plans for Rim Village have been lost. [13] By 1915, Alfred Parkhurst was providing for Daniels' first classification by opening the lodge. [14] Daniels' two surviving drawings pertain to its interior. Besides being General Superintendent, Daniels was allowed to work as a private consultant to national park concessioners by the Secretary of the Interior, Franklin Lane, One drawing, that of decorations for the Great Hall of the lodge, was beyond the ability of the financially strapped Parkhurst to implement. [15] Daniels seems to have realized this, because a more austere rustic drawing of a lobby counter and main stairway for the lodge was produced. The counter and stairway were built as planned and the drawing specified that all logs used were to retain their bark. [16]

Parkhurst's lack of capital and difficulties with running the lodge during its first six seasons led to the forfeiture of his 20 year lease in 1921. A new company, headed by E.V. Hauser and R.W. Price of Portland, took over the lodge and began improvement of the accommodations which had formerly been the subject of much complaint. To the east of the building and along the Rim, Hauser and Price erected tent houses with wooden floors and walls to meet visitor demand. They were serviced by a comfort station built by the NPS, who had also installed the campground's first water system in 1919.

The new company did not have exclusive control over all of Rim Village's concessions, however. The Kiser Studio was constructed on a site just south of Victor Rock in 1921, over the objections of Superintendent Alex Sparrow and other NPS officials. Its location took advantage of the road's routing through Rim Village, having entered it near the site of the present concessioner's employee dormitory and going by the lodge to become the West Rim Drive. Fred Kiser sold his photographs of Crater Lake in the studio, whose design influenced the appearance of the comfort station east of the lodge. [17]

The granting of a 20 year contract to Hauser and Price in 1922 led to the construction of annexes onto the Crater Lake Lodge. These were well underway the following summer, but visitation had grown to where a structure was needed at the campground. In 1923, Superintendent C.G. Thomson recommended:

a shake community house, designed in imitation of a wigwam and containing a large central circular fireplace be constructed at the Rim auto camp ground. [18]

Community houses had proven popular in auto camps throughout the western United States as a place for campers to mingle after sunset, and Thomson saw construction of one as a way to establish a National Park Service presence at Rim Village. In 1924, a considerably less ambitious building than the one Thomson had suggested was erected.

Implementation of Daniels' recommendation for a village store to service rented tents or cabins took considerably longer to realize. A development plan worked out by NPS landscape architect Thomas Vint in 1925-26 called for the construction of housekeeping cabins and a building to house a cafeteria and store. Vint envisioned the cafeteria and store building as being one of a group of three structures set on a plaza. The other buildings were to be a photography studio and a kind of visitor center/museum/auditorium/dormitory called a "Government Contact Building." [19]

Although Vint's plan called for the removal of his studio, Kiser was reluctant to give up his location and pay for construction of a new building in the plaza development. He did have a small wing added to his studio during the summer of 1926, but subsequent business reversals forced Kiser to forfeit the building in 1929. It has remained under NPS control ever since, being known subsequently as the Information Building, the Exhibit Building, and the Rim Visitor Center.

The development plan also addressed how the public would view the lake from Rim Village. It called for:

a Rim-way walk with a dustless surface behind which would be the roadway and parking area. After designing all necessary road ways and walks the intervening unused ground can be provided with a ground cover or other plant growth to stabilize the dust. The Rim walk will be one of the most important units of the Rim Area development and its center of attraction will be at Victor Rock. [20]

The "Rim-way walk" was one way of tackling the problem of unrestricted automobile parking next to the Rim which had destabilized or destroyed much of the vegetation and had scarred the area with vehicle tracks. Construction of a new main access to Rim Village was in progress during 1926, a project that was to set the circulation pattern on the site for over six decades.

C. Rim Village Remade: 1927-1941

Construction of the new road was accompanied by an expanded water system and extensive utility work to service the proposed Rim Village development. Vint's intention was to make the site a center for viewing the lake according to the evolving design principles of rustic architecture. In many respects, the plan for Rim Village's layout resembled another project of his during this period, the Giant Forest site at Sequoia National Park. Unlike Giant Forest, however, the concession company's willingness to finance improvements was limited and sporadic. Nevertheless, by 1941, the NPS had launched a successful revegetation program at Rim Village and endowed the site with many improvements that were to last for more than a half-century.

The army road was shorter than the realigned route that the Bureau of Public Roads completed for the NPS in 1927, but had grades up to eleven percent in places. [21] The new road from Munson Valley cut the steepest grades to six percent, and in so doing was aligned to enter Rim Village development from the northwest. Rim Village now had a southern and western boundary, something that allowed the NPS to begin implementing its plan for the area.

Development of the plaza began in 1928 with a cafeteria and store building designed by NPS landscape architects. It was accompanied by construction of housekeeping cabins, which until 1941 did not have running water or sanitary facilities. [22] Work on the promenade started in 1929, following a design by NPS landscape architect E.A. Davidson. Planting work started the following year under the direction of Merel Sager. [23]

Concurrent with the start of the revegetation program was the construction of a new trail to the lakeshore. Like the earlier Rim Camp Trail, the Lake Trail near the lodge had become hazardous. In response, the NPS spent two seasons building the Crater Wall Trail and located the new trailhead on the plaza across from the Cafeteria and Store building.

In 1930, construction got underway on the first federally-funded museum in a national park, the Sinnott Memorial. Its design borrowed heavily from the Yavapai Observation Station at the Grand Canyon. The link was more than incidental because both structures were viewed by the Carnegie Institution of Washington as the key interpretive sites in their respective parks. Carnegie's president, John C. Merriam, was instrumental in getting funds for the Sinnott's first exhibits and was heavily involved with the building's design. Merriam also laid out the Discovery Point Trail, which originates from the promenade at the northwest corner of Rim Village. [24]

The 1931 season saw the virtual completion of a stone parapet wall along the promenade. The crenelated wall also featured several landscaped bays, a trail to the Sinnott Memorial, and a drinking fountain that had a miniature Crater Lake carved from a single boulder. Utility work in the summer included a new cement water storage tank on Garfield Peak. More improvements came that fall when Rim Village's gasoline powered generators were eliminated by the installation of electric power through an underground line. As the construction season finished, the NPS was starting a fill south of the lodge so that additional parking might be provided.

The boom in construction at Crater Lake National Park during the Hoover Administration was largely due to the administration's willingness to fund public works projects at an unprecedented level. [25] In order to give Congress an overall view of proposed developments in national parks so that appropriations could be secured, development plans were scrapped in favor of master plans. Responding to a request from Vint, NPS landscape architect Merel Sager produced a sample master plan for Crater Lake in 1931 [26]

The early master plans consisted of large paper copies made from drawings produced on vellum. They were later hand colored and bound together on a roll. Comprehensive development plans at a scale encompassing the entire park were followed by larger scale drawings to depict individual developed areas like Rim Village. Eventually, a typed narrative accompanied the colored sheets as an insert and an attempt was made to update each park's master plan every year.

Passage of the Emergency Conservation Work (ECW) Act in 1933 provided for the formation of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The resulting money and manpower allowed the NPS to employ Francis Lange as the park's resident landscape architect. Previously, Lange had worked under Sager but could spend only part of the summer at Crater Lake because his duty station alternated between Sequoia and the NPS office in San Francisco. Lange worked as the resident landscape architect at Crater Lake from 1933 until 1939, when he got a promotion and was replaced by Lester Anderson.

By 1933, most of the landscaping projects at Rim Village were well underway. Stone curbs had replaced the log parapets which had defined the roadway and parking areas. Lange supervised the transplanting of more than a thousand trees from Munson Valley to Rim Village, while also continuing the "naturalization" work that Sager had started. Lange also designed rustic signs of wood with raised lettering to replace the painted metal signs that formerly gave directions or indicated points of interest.

In spite of all of the construction resulting from work relief programs in the 1930s, some proposals for Rim Village were never realized. The plaza development did not secure sufficient funding for the government contact building and new studio. These projects required more money than what was available through ECW allotments, which were the park's main source of construction funds between 1933 and 1942. The proposed studio site on the plaza was eventually occupied by a comfort station finished in 1938. Designed by Lange, the comfort station's orientation and stonework were to serve as the basis for future construction at Rim Village. [27] The government contact building had relatively complete plans drawn for it by NPS architect George Norgard in 1932. Construction of the building was complicated by its having to be built in two stages beginning in 1933. [28] It remained on every master plan for the park through 1940.

Further expansion of the campground was proposed after the CCC had put the finishing touches on a 45 unit campground at Rim Village, one that featured bathhouses, electric lights, as well as rustic benches, tables, and campstoves. [29] A cabin development was planned for the area southeast of the lodge, but the NPS could not convince the concessioner to undertake the project. The agency had to be content with some improvements to the lodge and housekeeping cabins (which subsequently became known as the "coldwater" cabins once they were serviced by new water lines in 1941), though the company did construct two "deluxe" four room cabins in 1942. [30]

D. Post War Planning: 1942-1956

With the onset of World War II, planning responsibilities began to be shared with park staff. Although little seemed to result from these efforts, a fundamental shift in the NPS perception of Rim Village began to occur. Plans aimed at building a visitor center within what was going to be a day use area were eventually shelved, however, in favor of additional concession development in the mid 1950s.

The outbreak of World War II resulted in the dissolution of the CCC. This depleted the NPS of the manpower it needed to keep the master plans updated on a yearly basis. Although the large colored sheets in the plans for Crater Lake went without an update from 1941 to 1947, development outlines (which were an expansion of the narrative in master plans) were produced and revised during the war. The 1942 master plan proposed that the Rim Campground be converted to a picnic area because the overnight use was seriously damaging the vegetation. [31] A study was launched less than a year later to determine whether the campground was to be relocated to a site about one mile northwest of Rim Village. [32]

Connected with the campground relocation study was a proposal to build a tunnel from the new site to the lakeshore. Condemned by some NPS officials as mutilation, Director Newton Drury ruled out further consideration of a tunnel or elevator to the lake's surface in early 1944. [33]

The question of how to best facilitate the visitor experience at Crater Lake remained. In 1943, there was a proposal to relocate the concession's service station in Munson Valley to a site next to the cafeteria, but Superintendent Leavitt was in favor of a site west of the wye that separated Rim Village from the Rim Drive. [34] Some improvements were made to the Munson Valley facility in 1948, but the proposal would resurface again in the master plans of the mid 1950s. Another government contact building was designed by NPS architect Cecil Doty in 1943. Doty incorporated a museum, an exhibit area, and office space into a two story, multi-purpose structure. [35]

The "museum" proposal encountered opposition from E.A. Davidson, regional chief of planning (Crater Lake had been part of the NPS's Region Four, headquartered in San Francisco, since 1937). Davidson objected to the possibility that the building's size might approach "monumental character" and that it would increase congestion at Rim Village. [36] Leavitt, however, supported Doty's design in a memorandum to Regional Director O.A. Tomlinson. He was convinced that the building would be a good example of "package" development (an idea that was being advocated by Davidson's department) so that the need for other, smaller buildings dotting the landscape would be eliminated. [37]

Connected with this proposed "package" development was a prospectus for the building. This arose from the realization by NPS planners that development had been the ultimate result of master plans, so there had to be a statement of requirements for the proposed development. [38] The prospectus was to include an examination of the need for the development(s), an analysis of local factors (including the physical environment, visitation, and location of the proposal), an outline of the proposed development, and an estimate of costs. [39] A prospectus for the proposed government contact building was first prepared in 1942, and revised in 1947 by the park's Chief Naturalist George Ruhle. [40]

In his revision, Ruhle mentions that it was NPS policy to bar any structure between the parking area and the rim of the caldera. This seemingly confined the proposed government contact building to the site first selected by Vint in 1926. In carrying this policy further, Crater Lake's 1948 operations prospectus recommended that the NPS should be:

prepared to eventually condemn the existing public accommodations on the Rim and refuse to permit any rebuilding of such accommodations within the park area with the possible exception of a lunch room which could be located as to provide year-round, simple meal service and would not encroach upon the featured portion of the park. [41]

The operations prospectus reflected more than the desires of Superintendent Leavitt and the park staff. In a letter to NPS Director Newton B. Drury, the concession company's vice-president, R.L. Kron, expressed "complete surprise" at Drury's pronouncement that:

any new concession contract for operations in this area shall contain the condition that accommodations for the visiting public are to be provided in a new structure, or structures, erected on a site, or sites, to be selected, which will be some distance from the Crater Rim, and that the now existing Crater Lake Lodge will be razed. [42]

Drury's statement reflected some long-standing problems that the NPS was having with the concessioners, particularly with regard to the lack of adequate fire safety measures in the Crater Lake Lodge. Although visitor complaints of this nature had begun as early as 1916, Director Drury and several inspectors accused concessioners Price and Kron of stalling in their compliance with fire safety requirements. [43] Price claimed that the company could not afford installation of an automatic sprinkler system in the lodge. In June 1947, Secretary of the Interior Julius Krug issued an order limiting occupancy of the lodge to the first and second floors. [44] After an urgent plea based on reservation commitments made for the 1947 season and Price's assurances that special interim fire protection measures were to be undertaken, Krug allowed operation of the lodge to resume on the condition that fire protection requirements be met for the 1948 season. [45]

Price attempted to sell the concession in early 1948 to a prospective buyer who would then have to make the fire safety improvements stipulated by the NPS. Some of these measures were undertaken after the sale fell through so that the lodge could open for the summer, but the order closing the third floor remained in effect. When Krug found out that the concession was using the third floor to house employees, he threatened Price with cancellation of the contract. [46] A compromise that allowed guest and employee occupancy on the third floor of the annexes was reached in August upon recommendation of Frank Ahern, NPS Chief of Safety. [47]

The compromise did not change the conviction of many people in the NPS that the lodge would be at the end of its useful life as public accommodations in 1960. Rather than raze the building and restore the site, there was some interest during the late 1940s in an adapted structure that would house public contact functions, a museum, and NPS offices. [48] By utilizing the masonry walls of the lodge to develop a two-story building, the problems with securing sufficient appropriations for a visitor center might be lessened.

Most of the improvements and fire safety measures that saved the concession operation in 1948 were due to the efforts of Price's son-in-law, C.W. Fyock. [49] By 1950, however, the structural deficiencies of the lodge's Great Hall section were so obvious that it was necessary to add wooden columns for reinforcement of the overloaded laminated beams. [50] After attaching a transformer vault onto the lodge to remedy a fire hazard, the NPS decided to fund a structural survey and condition report on the lodge by N.W. Haner and Associates of Portland. Completed in 1953, the Haner Report recommended rehabilitation of the lodge rather than its replacement. It stated that if the rehabilitation measures were carried out, the building's useful life as public accommodations would be extended upwards of 20 years. [51]

Price decided not to invest the $72,000 that the Haner Report recommended be spent on the lodge in order to extend its life. Instead, he sold the concession to Harry W. and Harry C. Smith in 1954. Although the Smiths were to implement very few of the rehabilitation measures that the Haner Report recommended, they did some renovation and planned an addition to the dining room for the 1955 season. [52] The expanded dining room did not materialize, but the new concessioners doubled the size of the Cafeteria and Store building in 1956, enlarging it to house a lunchroom and a "winter warming area." [53]

Director Conrad Wirth's order to take design and construction functions out of the regions in 1953 changed the way that park planning had been done previously. Two offices, one in Philadelphia and the other in San Francisco, were organized prior to the inception of the ten year development program called Mission

66. This was done to centralize design and construction so that the NPS could justify hiring enough staff to meet the demands of park projects brought on by aging facilities and increased visitation.

Near the end of 1954, the new Western Office of Design and Construction (WODC) drew a museum building that was to be located downslope from the site of the Community House. The proposed building was to be connected to the Sinnott Memorial by an underground walkway. The walkway's purpose was to allow visitor access to a glassed-in Sinnott Memorial for all-year use. [54]

A winterized Sinnott Memorial had been part of NPS planning for Rim Village since 1947, but Congress provided barely enough money for operations at Crater Lake despite Drury's best efforts. [55] To Wirth, the only way to meet park needs for new facilities was to launch a coordinated program whose time horizon could coincide with the publicity generated by the National Park Service's 50th anniversary. With the initiation of Mission 66, park officials fully expected that construction of a visitor center and winterized Sinnott Memorial would begin in 1957. [56]

E. The Mission 66 Era: 1957-1967

After an enthusiastic beginning under the Eisenhower Administration, the energy behind Mission 66 began to dissipate by the fall of 1960. In an attempt to keep the construction funds flowing and encourage concession development at Rim Village, the NPS instituted package master plans. Formulated in 1961, 1964, 1965, and 1967, these plans took slightly different approaches to relieving congestion at the site. The need for a visitor center was soon intertwined with concession development and a complicated attempt to move NPS headquarters out of the park.

The questionable feasibility of building an underground walkway to a winterized Sinnott Memorial prompted Merel Sager (who was now the NPS's Chief Landscape Architect in the Washington office) to design a winter viewing platform in early 1957. He envisioned a platform on the edge of the rim, built so that it could sit on the berm. The device would utilize posts so that it would be raised and lowered depending on the snow depth. [57] At roughly the same time Sager proposed a platform for lake viewing, Cecil Doty designed a visitor center for the site of the Kiser Studio which included a winter viewing tower at its north end. [58]

Although construction of a visitor center proved elusive, some changes took place at Rim Village during the Mission 66 program. The roadway between the plaza and lodge was widened to provide more parking for day use, which had been accounting for over 80 percent of visitation since before 1950. [59] Newly designed cement picnic tables accompanied by metal fire grates were put into the realigned Rim Campground in 1958. By 1960, the new Cleetwood Cove Trail on the north side of the caldera was providing access to the lakeshore, replacing the steeper and increasingly hazardous Crater Wall Trail.

The Smiths sold their interest in the concession company to Ralph O. Peyton and James M. Griffin in 1959. Negotiations began with the new concessioners about the disposition of the lodge because their contract was due to expire at the end of 1960. The NPS wanted to buy the lodge and convert it into a visitor center and museum, and programmed $285,000 for its purchase. The new concessioners could take the proceeds from the sale and construct a motel accommodating 250 people in the new "concession area" adjacent to the cafeteria. [60 ] Contract negotiations stalled over the issue of the new motel's proximity to the lake, so Peyton and Griffin were granted a five year extension under the terms of the old agreement. [61] The large number of contracted construction projects of the Mission 66 program (some of which had to be coordinated with concession development) necessitated flexibility in NPS master plans. When the agency found itself increasingly concerned about the Kennedy Administration's willingness to back Mission 66 projects, it tried a new approach to updating and presenting park plans called package master plans. Narrative material prepared by park and regional staffs could be presented on the same size sheets as the WODC drawings for areas in a park that were considered to have common problems. A general package that encompassed the entire park was prepared in addition to however many packages that a large or small park required. Package master plans were also to be accompanied by development schedules that listed priorities and estimated costs of the proposed changes. [62]

In 1961, Crater Lake was one of the first four parks selected for this experiment in planning. A proposed visitor center was a key component of the package that included Rim Village. A new access road from the south (which followed portions of the army route as it entered Rim Village) was planned to diverge from the existing road below Rim Campground and go to the lodge. This would allow visitors to avoid the congested plaza area as they made their way to the new visitor center, housed in the adapted lodge. [63] The proposed "concession area" around the plaza, the adapted lodge, and a second access road through Rim Village continued as the main focal points when Superintendent W. Ward Yeager submitted the park development schedules for the update of the package master plan in early 1964. [64]

An administrative reorganization of the national park system into natural, historical, and recreational areas resulted in Crater Lake being classified as a natural area after 1964. This classification was interpreted by the agency to mean that the park would reflect as little evidence of human activity as possible. A package master plan was drafted in July 1965 which aimed to provide a workable traffic pattern for Rim Village. Additional parking for the proposed visitor center in the lodge was a key component, as was additional parking space to service the concession facilities. Included in the plan's principal recommendations was a proposal for Rim Village becoming a day use area. The lodge was to be acquired by the NPS for demolition or conversion into a visitor center, and the concessioner was to develop overnight accommodations away from Rim Village. [65]

The five year extension that Peyton and Griffin had been granted expired on December 31, 1965. Although the concessioners were able to get a one year extension for the 1966 season, Superintendent J. Leonard Volz made the installation of an automatic sprinkler system in the lodge a condition for granting a new contract. [66] Volz also raised questions about the future of the lodge in a memorandum to Regional Director Edward Hummel. Focusing on fire safety and the lodge's proximity to the caldera, Volz tied NPS ownership of the lodge to moving park headquarters out of Munson Valley. [67]

One of the reasons that the proposed headquarters move was generating more enthusiasm than it had in the past was that Volz was the first superintendent of the park to live in Munson Valley year-round. The first drawings of a new headquarters located at the park's south entrance had been done by Lange and Davidson in 1942, but cost studies in 1948, 1955, and 1961 resulted in rejection of the idea, [68] Volz pursued the plan because the Medford winter headquarters were disbanded in 1965 and there was now the possibility of getting overnight accommodations out of Rim Village. Some of the buildings in Steel Circle were to be exchanged for the concession's interest in the lodge, provided that the Steel Circle buildings were remodeled as motel accommodations. [69]

Director George Hartzog's visit to the park in August 1966 led to the concession appraising the NPS buildings in Munson Valley so that an anticipated exchange for their property at Rim Village could take place. [70] Hartzog wanted to convert Rim Village to a primarily day-use area by consolidating the functions of key structures and razing others. He favored reconstruction of the lodge into a low-profile structure that would utilize the existing stone masonry and provide about 50 high-quality rooms. Volz later reported to Regional Director John Rutter that it would take two seasons to convert the lodge, but that overnight accommodations must first be provided elsewhere before the lodge conversion could begin. To Volz, this also meant that park headquarters had to be moved to a new site before work could start on converting the Steel Circle apartments to motel units. [71]

The 1965 draft master plan had to be finalized during 1967 because no construction could begin without an approved master plan. The master plan included proposals to: 1) expand the Mazama Campground for a trailer village and camper supply complex (to include showers, laundry, store, and service station), so that the Rim Campground could be closed; 2) construct a concessioner's employee dormitory at Rim Village; 3) phase out the cold water and Ponderosa cabins; 4) construct a multi-purpose building on the site of the Kiser Studio that would incorporate an amphitheater, offices, exhibit space, and the services of the existing cafeteria. [72]

In the 1967 interpretive prospectus, Chief Park Naturalist R.G. Bruce discussed the proposal for a multi-purpose building, while noting that the lodge and cafeteria would probably remain at Rim Village. He proposed a low profile Lake View building that would remove the need for all of the existing NPS structures, including the Sinnott Memorial. Bruce attached Doty's 1943 drawing to show a feasible design and concluded that the promenade and its retaining walls should be completely reworked. [73]

By the end of 1967, funds for a new visitor center still were not programmed. Reconstruction on the lodge was put off until 1974 largely because new acquisitions to the National Park System were consuming most of the agency's construction budget. [74 ] Earlier that year, Volz and the concessioners resigned themselves to the probability that the proposed headquarters move would take up to ten yearn. Peyton and Griffin wrote Hartzog and asked that a contract be negotiated before the end of 1967, and said that acquisition of the Steel Circle facilities could wait until the headquarters situation was clarified. [75] This meant that the lodge would provide accommodation for at least another five years.

After Donald Spalding took over as superintendent in April 1967, the concessioners began installing an automatic sprinkler system to protect the lobby area of the lodge. NPS officials insisted fire and life safety improvements should extend throughout the lodge as long as it served as public accommodations. These improvements were to be part of the new contract with the concessioner. [76]

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]

More controversial was construction of the concessioner's employee dormitory that began in August 1972. Originally planned for a site next to the cafeteria, the master plan revision of 1972 now showed it on a site south of the lodge so that it could be hooked up to the lodge's sewer line. Passage of the National Environmental Policy Act in 1969 meant that an environmental assessment (EA) had to be written to address the impact of the building's construction, as well as to present alternatives to constructing the dorm at Rim Village. The document stated that the building was required by the 1967 concession contract and that its purpose was to eliminate overcrowding in the lodge (employees had been housed there along with guests). It was also to provide housing for employees when the lodge was being converted to a two story structure. The EA further justified the $350,000 dormitory by stating that the building would improve the appearance of the area by allowing the lodge to be reduced to two stories. [82] When construction of the dormitory began in June 1973, seven conservation groups protested that it should have been built on Peyton's property near the park's south boundary. [83] The groups argued that the building's site in Rim Village was inconsistent with the stated NPS intent to shift new development away from prime resource areas. [84 ] Although the dormitory was completed, further expansion of concession facilities at Rim Village was halted by order of Assistant Secretary of Interior Nathaniel Reed with the support of Oregon Senator Bob Packwood. Plans for motel units at Rim Village and Park Headquarters were dropped, with Reed directing the NPS to prepare a revised master plan that would be subject to public hearings. [85]

Crater Lake's last master plan appeared in draft form in March 1975 and lent little credence to earlier justifications for building the employee dormitory. It noted that the lodge had been nominated for the National Register of Historic Places. This meant that conversion of the building into a two story structure would now require a Historic Structure Report, as part of a feasibility study. The lodge was entitled to protection under Executive Order 11593 (Protection and Enhancement of the Cultural Environment, May 13, 1971) under which historical surveys are required on buildings nominated to the National Register prior to any construction.

A visitor center was again proposed in the master plan, this time through conversion of the cafeteria. Rerouting of the roadway to a south access for Rim Village was recommended, as was the conversion of the Rim Campground to a day use area. [86] An environmental assessment was prepared for the draft master plan in May 1975. In June, a plugged outfall line at a sewer manhole near the lodge allowed raw sewage to mix with surface runoff from snowmelt, resulting in contamination of Munson Springs. The resulting water supply problem closed the park for almost three weeks. Both the lodge and the Rim Campground remained closed after the park reopened. Emergency funds allowed for the completion of a new water line from Annie Spring in September, and Munson Springs were abandoned as a water supply.

Although the lodge had its sewage system reworked as a result of the contamination, emergency funds were not extended to cover projects in the master plan. The abandonment of the septic tank and leachfield system serving the cafeteria and cold water cabins was not accomplished. [87] The contamination had other ramifications. The Rim Campground was converted to a picnic area in the summer of 1976. In the midst of litigation arising from his role in the water contamination, Peyton sold the concession on March 1, 1976, to the Canteen Company of Oregon. Canteen was to assume the remainder of the 30 year contract. [88]

General management plans began to replace master plans in the national parks during 1977. This was in response to congressional pressure to improve administration of NPS holdings and would include public comment in park planning. The new document was done in advance of legislation mandating GMPs and consisted of a statement for management, a resource management plan, a visitor use plan, a general development plan, and subsidiary plans. [90] Accompanied by an environmental assessment, the draft GMP for Crater Lake was issued for public comment in July 1977.

Within the general development plan was a development concept for Rim Village that was very similar to what had been proposed in the 1967 master plan. The differences were that the lodge was now to be maintained as a first class accommodation, with refurnishing and maintenance to be done in a way that its historic character would be retained. The proposed visitor center was to be placed just north of the existing comfort station on the plaza. It was to be surrounded by "restored green space", while the roadway was to be moved south to provide access to the lodge. The plan stated that the key to implementing a Rim Village plan was the removal of the rental cabins so that parking on the existing roadway and plaza could be relocated.90 Another major difference to the 1967 plan was that rim redevelopment was not tied to moving park headquarters to the south entrance, though the plan attempted to make a case for the move.

The development concept had a long-range goal of restoring the rim of the caldera to an interpretive zone, stating that those facilities not directly related to the viewing experience and interpretation could be removed upon the termination of their useful life. [91] No timetable was given for the proposed actions, but the development concept maintained that the replacement of lodging units with others elsewhere in the park would depend on prevailing conditions at that time and the availability of facilities within nearby communities. It did specify, however, that prior to any major actions at Rim Village, a comprehensive design would be prepared that would determine the location of the interpretive center, pedestrian areas, parking, and access roads. [92] In December 1977, the NPS issued a final GMP with an environmental assessment. The latter was the subject of some controversy in the public comment period because a conservation wanted the NPS to do an environmental impact statement. Klamath Falls Group Superintendent Ernest Borgman dismissed the idea by equating the depth and utility of an EA with an EIS while characterizing the latter as involving unnecessary delays. [93]

G. False Starts and Potential Resolution: 1978-1988

At Rim Village, the GMP may have created more problems than it solved. Its cursory treatment of the Crater Lake Lodge was one reason why the NPS eventually found itself entangled with provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act. The agency's proposed resolution of the redevelopment problem was politically expedient and was aimed at using the support for a rehabilitated lodge to construct a visitor center within a new hotel. In doing this, however, the NPS committed itself to a multi-million dollar effort that was dependent upon at least ten years of discretionary Congressional funding for special construction projects.

Not long after the GMP was completed, the question of whether the lodge could be maintained as first class public accommodations (as specified in the GMP) was laid open to scrutiny. In March 1978, Superintendent Frank Betts requested that a structural engineer make an inspection of the lodge. [9] No immediate action was taken, but an electrical inspection of the lodge was made in May 1979 by personnel from the Denver Service Center (an entity which arose from the eastern and western offices of design and construction being consolidated in 1971). The inspection was followed by a preliminary report on fire safety and structural stability of the building in October 1979. [95] Another inspection in January 1980 estimated that over $2.4 million would be required to correct life safety and structural deficiencies in the lodge. This report also pointed out that the NPS still had no maintenance agreement with the concessioner concerning the building. [96]

The lack of fire safety measures in the lodge was the subject of a Government Accounting Office report released in November 1980. [97] The report stressed that extensive renovation was needed if the building were to continue as public accommodations. Since the GMP stated that the lodge could be removed at the end of its useful life, there was some question whether renovation efforts should proceed, given that overnight stays in the lodge had fallen by 33 percent from 1977 to 1979. [98] The NPS held public meetings on the fate of the lodge in Klamath Falls, Medford, and Salem, from December 9 to 11, 1980. [99] Four options with cost estimates were presented by the agency, with public sentiment generally favoring retention of the lodge.

Concurrent with the public meetings, NPS personnel in the Pacific Northwest Regional Office in Seattle revised and submitted a National Register nomination form on the lodge to the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation. The nomination was approved and forwarded to Washington, D.C. where the lodge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 5, 1981. [100] Placement on the National Register, the public's desire for continued use of the lodge, and the GMP as approved, were the main factors in the move toward total rehabilitation of the building. The regional office prepared a Development/Study Package Proposal in the spring of 1981, so that a task directive for Denver Service Center work could be approved. [101] Operating under Package 220, the NPS financed interim improvements to the lodge and initiated a historic structure report to guide the rehabilitation efforts. [102]

The rehabilitation work was scheduled to begin at the close of the 1982 operating season. The Historic Structure Report, however, found that the construction cost for stabilization and rehabilitation of the lodge would exceed $6 million. Besides the cost of the work, concern about slope deterioration undermining the foundation of the lodge was a factor in the Denver Service Center's recommendation of a "no go" decision on the project as requested in the 1982 construction budget. [103] The rehabilitation project was tabled and an amendment to the GMP was pursued. In the interim, fire and life safety work continued so that the lodge could remain in operation on a year-to-year basis. [104]

The feasibility of providing winter lodging in the park had been indicated by studies made in 1980 and 1983, though no major shift in the seasonality of visitation or average length of stay in the park was anticipated. [105] An amendment to the GMP was to resolve the lodging issue in the form of an action plan. As outlined in the Planning Process Guideline (often referred to as NPS-2) action plans were to be prepared as sequels to the approved GMP for large parks where the level of detail in the GMP is inadequate to allow execution of particular programs. [106] When detailed guidance for anticipated park development is needed, an action plan is prepared and is called a development concept plan (DCP).

A draft DCP was issued for public comment in February 1984. The preferred alternative called for expansion of the cafeteria building that would house approximately 58 lodge rooms, dining facilities, and an interpretive center. This lodge/cafeteria complex would be connected to the Munson Valley waste water treatment system. Adaptive use for an artist-in-residence program was discussed for the Kiser Studio, while the rental cabins and Community House were slated for removal. Commercial development in Munson Valley was to be limited to the eventual replacement of the concessioner's employee dormitory at Rim Village. [107]

Public meetings were held to review the DCP alternatives in Klamath Falls, Medford, Roseburg, and Salem during March 1984. Although the scope of the DCP was the entire park, the disposition of the Crater Lake Lodge elicited the most comment. Possible adaptive uses for the lodge were given in the document's appendix. These possibilities were explored as separate, but parallel issues to the environmental consequences of providing lodging in the park. Public sentiment was generally supportive of the preferred alternative and there was acceptance of the basic assumption shared by all alternatives that future lodging would not be provided in the Crater Lake Lodge. The public expressed a desire, however, that some use be found for the building. [108]

A final decision on the DCP was promised for June, but problems with the document began to surface in the public comment period. Not only did critics want a thorough analysis of alternatives to demolishing the building, but they were upset over the Historic Structure Report being based on what it would cost to make the lodge "first class" accommodations. [109]

In concluding the section on adaptive use of the lodge, the draft DCP stated:

The high cost to renovate the lodge for limited use, the uncertainties over the long-term stability of the site, and management objectives to reduce development on the rim indicate that ultimately the lodge should be removed. Before any decision is made, alternatives for financing renovation and continued use will be further explored, public comments will be given full consideration, and formal consultation procedures with the state historic preservation officer and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation will be conducted. [110]

When the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) was consulted, it recommended that it would be unwise to predicate a decision to demolish the lodge on a management policy which calls for the removal of development from the vicinity of primary park resources. The ACHP also cited the need for a Preliminary Case Report (PCR) on the lodge in order to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The PCR was to provide a detailed account of replacement and retention costs for the lodge, and to organize these costs into options that were to include a relatively modest "rustic" standard of accommodations.

Nevertheless, on June 26 NPS Director Russell Dickenson reversed his previous endorsement of the preferred alternative in the draft DCP. He said that all development should be removed from Rim Village except for an interpretive center in the cafeteria building and further stated that continued use of the Crater Lake Lodge contradicted current NPS policy to remove nonresource-related facilities from prime resource areas. [111]

When the decision was announced by Regional Director Daniel J. Tobin, Jr., in late July, a wave of protest erupted in Oregon's newspapers. The Historic Preservation League of Oregon was especially vocal in finding fault with the analysis of rehabilitation costs for the lodge. [112] The outcry prompted a request by Oregon Congressman James Weaver to include the lodge question on the agenda of a House Interior Subcommittee on Public Lands and National Parks, for a hearing on September 11, 1984.

Director Dickenson answered Weaver's questions at the hearing and agreed to get a second cost estimate for rehabilitating the lodge, this time from architects and engineers not in federal service. Weaver also urged Dickenson to seek extensive public comment and the advice of historic preservation groups before any decision is made to demolish the lodge. [113] During the period between the hearing and the initiation of the second cost estimate, the Portland architectural firm Fletcher, Finch, Farr, and Ayotte was chosen to do a study of alternative sites for a new lodge. [114]

The uncertainty over the old lodge left the actions common to all alternatives in the draft DCP suspended. In Rim Village, this meant that the removal of the rental cabins and the connection of all facilities to the Munson Valley waste water treatment system could not go ahead. To rectify the situation, an interim DCP was prepared and approved in May 1985 so that work on noncontroversial projects could proceed. [115]

The interim DCP also made mention of the second cost study for the lodge, which would require from six to nine months to complete. A contract for $144,000 was awarded to the Portland-based firm of Broome, Oringdulph, O'Toole, Rudolf and Associates (BOOR/A) on June 25, 1985. [116] The BOOR/A study was to provide information on the feasibility of rehabilitating the lodge for "rustic" accommodations. This was defined as "the economical repair and/or replacement of defective building elements to meet code and operational requirements for use of the facility in its current configuration." The study was to contain costs for both a 20 and 40 year life cycle. Completed in March 1986, it included a landscape inspection report, snow load study, food service equipment report, a study of vegetation changes affecting the lodge, and a wind tunnel test report.

The study of vegetation change was authored by architect Alfred Staehli, a historic architect who had done previous consulting work in other national park areas. [117] Staehli mapped the historic pattern of vegetation to show that the addition of the building's annexes in 1923 changed the snow drifting pattern. Staehli showed that this change, not slope failure, eventually caused the terrace on the lodge's north side to slump off. [118]

The findings of the BOOR/A study confirmed earlier Denver Service Center findings that the lodge had a poor initial structural design, had always provided meager accommodations, and would require major rehabilitation. Rehabilitation even to "rustic" standards would require complete replacement of the electrical system, most of the mechanical system, and major structural renovation. The costs associated with either the "first class" or "rustic" standard of accommodation differed mainly in their treatment of the Great Hall section of the lodge. Also discussed was the option of removing the annexes and keeping the original part of the building as a summer restaurant and interpretive display area. It was estimated that rehabilitation costs for this option would be about half of what full rehabilitation would cost. [119]

In March 1986, Oregon Congressman Bob Smith announced that NPS Director William Penn Mott was considering a proposal to remove the annexes. Smith said that Mott wanted to get a reaction from various groups about the idea in order to work out a compromise. [120] In July 1986, Mott made an unannounced visit to the lodge which led to the preparation of a third cost estimate by the Denver Service Center. Using the BOOR/A "rustic" approach and the NPS "first class" estimate, a "combined option" scenario was generated for a rehabilitated lodge with annexes. Issued as a working draft in October, this estimate was about midway between the two prior cost studies. It assumed a post-rehabilitation total of 82 guest rooms, whereas the "rustic" standard planned 108 and the "first class" standard had 56 rooms. [121]

In March 1987, Denver Service Center historical architects Craig Kenkel and Craig Frazier examined cost data from the BOOR/A study and the "combined option" to obtain figures for two scenarios involving the lodge without annexes. The first, an interpretive display with dining facility, was estimated to cost between $3.3 and $3.7 million in Fiscal Year 1991 net construction costs. The second scenario, rustic lodging with dining, would run between $4.5 and $5 million. [122]

The Kenkel and Frazier schematic study allowed work to begin on constructing alternatives for a supplement to the suspended 1984 DCP. A draft document was cleared for printing in July 1987. Its focus was various combinations of lodging in the park and contained four alternatives. In all of the alternatives, lodging was to be limited to a maximum of 160 units in the park total with a maximum of 90 units at Rim Village. Costs of the alternatives were higher than previous estimates. This was because they were based on replacement of the cafeteria with new lodge facilities. The Denver Service Center specialists were convinced that a remodeled cafeteria would not function well and cited wind tunnel tests as evidence that the building would complicate the design for winter use of Rim Village. [123]

The location of the septic leachfield serving the cafeteria figured prominently in an investigation of six caldera springs during the summer of 1987. The ensuing report connected high nitrate concentrations found in one of the springs to the leachfield and strongly suggested that the NPS consider alternative approaches for treating human waste on the rim. [124] The report also justified the phasing of planned construction in the supplement to the DCP. The connection of new and existing facilities to the Munson Valley waste water treatment plant was given top priority in the anticipated funding for a Rim Village redevelopment package. [125]

The draft supplement to the DCP was issued for public comment in October 1987. It listed four alternatives for redeveloping Rim Village. Common to all of the alternatives was removal of four comfort stations and the Community House, while the Kiser Studio and Sinnott Memorial were to be retained. The disposition of the lodge was the key to all of the alternatives; this ranged from complete rehabilitation in the first alternative to demolition in the fourth alternative.

Alternative I would provide for an 80 room Crater Lake Lodge to be open only in the summer, and would be included in a total Rim Village redevelopment package estimated at $25.5 million. Alternative II drew from the Kenkel and Frazier schematic study including a rehabilitated original lodge with restaurant and exhibit space, open only in summer. A new all year lodge with 90 rooms would occupy a site near the cafeteria. This lodge would be three stories with a winter viewing area. The site was chosen in the 1984 Fletcher, Finch, Farr, and Ayotte study. This package was estimated to cost $33.5 million. Alternative Ill was similar to Alternative II, but differed in that rustic lodging and dining would be provided in the Crater Lake Lodge in the summer while a new lodge would have 60 rooms. This package was estimated to cost $33.3 million. Alternative IV called for a new all- year lodge with 90 rooms in an estimated package to cost about $28 million. All four alternatives showed a separate interpretive center to be constructed near the site of what had been the cafeteria and in proximity to the new lodge. Several newspapers called for a fifth alternative that would have the old lodge rehabilitated for year-round accommodations. [126]

Public hearings were held on the supplement to the DCP in Klamath Falls, Medford, Roseburg, and Portland from January 25 to 28, 1988. The historic preservation community strongly favored Alternative I, while the NPS chose not to select a preferred alternative. During the hearings the NPS stressed that a final decision was not limited to the four alternatives. [127] This would allow Regional Director Charles Odegaard the latitude to combine elements from several alternatives for a final decision on the DCP once the public comment period closed February 5,1988.

Odegaard announced his decision on February 25. He agreed to a $35 million effort to fully renovate the Crater Lake Lodge to provide about 80 guest rooms in the summer, while a new 60 room lodge near the site of the cafeteria would provide year-round accommodations. [128] Odegaard used what was essentially the "combined option" of October 1986 regarding the old lodge and endorsed the idea of a new "multi-purpose" building that would combine the functions of the proposed interpretive center and a new lodge. The decision met an overwhelmingly favorable reaction in Oregon's newspapers, largely because the decision had finally been made to retain the Crater Lake Lodge. [129]

The final supplement to the DCP appeared in May 1988. It provided for 140 lodging units at Rim Village and a total of 220 in the park, representing an increase over what was contained in the draft supplement. The NPS justified the increase by stating that proposed work at Rim Village would reduce the area affected by development from 32 acres to 12 acres. This was to be accomplished largely by combining the functions of the buildings scheduled for removal (the cafeteria and the Community House) into a new lodge. The concessioner's employee dormitory was to remain at Rim Village for the remainder of its useful life, but alignments for roads and parking had yet to be determined. [130]

H. Implementing the Plan: 1988-1989

At first it seemed that the DCP was going to be relatively easy to implement and would go according to a construction schedule developed by the Denver Service Center. Except for the additional lodging planned for Rim Village, most of the proposed redevelopment work had first been outlined by DSC in 1976. [131] But various scenarios for parking, transportation systems, and the siting of the new hotel began to complicate planning efforts. [132]

On December 1, 1988, three structures in Rim Village were listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of a national historic district in the park. [133] Two of the buildings (the comfort station on the plaza and the one behind the cafeteria) had been slated for removal in the DCP. The National Register designation played a key role in the funding for a cultural landscape report about the site which was begun in June 1989. Its purpose was to give planners context about Rim Village's historic development and its function as a designed landscape so that important site features could be protected and any adverse effects brought on by the redevelopment work mitigated. [134]

The National Register designation was an insignificant complication to the project schedule compared to the structural condition of the Crater Lake Lodge. After barely avoiding closure in 1988, consulting engineers recommended that the lodge not be opened the following year. [135] Odegaard made the decision to close the lodge on May 26, 1989, and immediately faced the problem of the 1990 NPS budget having no money for the Rim Village redevelopment project. Funds were restored through the efforts of the Oregon Congressional delegation in June, primarily to allow the lodge's rehabilitation to be accelerated. [136]

Much of the Rim Village planning, however, centered on the new hotel because it was to be the hub of the redevelopment. Questions continued to arise about how much parking was needed for a building with year round lodging. This led to extended discussion of transportation systems, but planners expressed their fears that the associated expense would leave the new hotel without a constituency. [137] Public support for a rehabilitated Crater Lake Lodge continued to drive Congressional backing for the entire redevelopment package, however. Despite some evidence that 1989 summer tourism at Crater Lake had been unaffected by the lodge's closure, Fiscal Year 1990 dawned with the expectation that work on site planning for the new hotel and the accelerated rehabilitation of the old lodge could be done concurrently. [138]

<<< Previous <<< Contents>>> Next >>>

Last Updated: 13-Aug-2010