By Yi Huang
For those seeking an escape to the outdoors, the pacific northwest is an ideal destination - well known for its beautiful coastline and vast forests of Douglas-fir, cedar, and spruce trees. Within an expanse of land stretching from Washington to northern California, plentiful precipitation makes this region the only temperate rainforest located in the United States. Unique lodges are sprinkled throughout, built to take advantage of the area’s natural beauty.
Located on the banks of crescent lake, within the northern range of Olympic National Park, the Singer’s Lake Crescent Tavern is a beautiful craftsman style lodge built in the early 1900’s to promote tourism. The most striking characteristic of the lodge is the natural timber great room, anchored by a massive stone fireplace on one end and an intricately detailed enclosed porch on the other. The lodge once housed Franklin D. Roosevelt prior to his designation of Olympic National Park as a national park. Various new secondary lodges and additions have been built onto the main lodge since its inception, but much of the lodge’s character has been preserved and can still be experienced in its original condition.
Lake Crescent Lodge
Lake Crescent Lodge, Central Fireplace
Along the southern range of Olympic National Park, Lake Quinault Lodge was also built in the early 1900’s and was originally an informal retreat for loggers. Designed by the architect Robert Reamer, a Seattle architect well known for his work in rustic lodges, the structure is roughly a V shape with wings stretching out on each side, clad in western red cedar shingles sustainably sourced nearby. There is an abundance of interesting details at the lodge. The second-floor jetties over the first, the wings project over a sloping grade and create a third story at the ends, and the roof has a subtly different slope at the front gable vs the back.
Lake Quinault Lodge back view
Lake Quinault Lodge
Most remarkably, the entire 2 ½ story structure was completed a mere 53 days from the start of construction. Quite a feat in difficult terrain!
Lastly, the Timberline Lodge is located most dramatically on the south slope of Mt. Hood, in Oregon. Designed by architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood, the structure is notably different from the other lodges, supporting its mass with a ground story of cobbled fieldstone and boulders. At roughly 40,000 sq. ft. and 4 stories high, the Timberline dwarfs the other two lodges. The angular rooflines swoop down on either wing to allow for dramatic vantage points of Mt. Hood in the backdrop. A massive 6-sided stone chimney mass dominates the central head house, providing 3 enlarged fireplaces on each level. Interestingly, the central head house was modified from its original octagonal shape to a hexagon during the design development stage. Within pop culture, the building gained recognition as being the exterior of the Overlook Hotel in the movie adaptation of The Shining, by Stephen King.