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[graphic] Glacier National Park
[graphic] National Historic Landmarks

Going-to-the Sun Road, Glacier National Park
Photo by L. Johnson
Going-to-the-Sun Road: An essential step in making large scenic reservations accessible to the motoring public without unduly marring landscape scenery or natural systems was the initiation of "landscape engineering." When it was begun, Going-to-the-Sun Road was the most ambitious road construction project ever undertaken by the Bureau of Public Roads and the NPS. The extreme terrain and conditions, as well as the newness of the administrative agreement between the two federal bureaus, made the road a laboratory of innovative road engineering practices and policies. While building the road, the NPS and the Bureau of Public Roads developed the construction standards and the cooperative administration that characterized future road construction not only in national parks, but on other federal lands and, after 1933, in state parks as well.

Many Glacier Hotel and the Sperry Chalet, two of the Great Northern Railway Buildings
National Park Service photos

The Great Northern Railway Buildings National Historic Landmark is comprised of five building complexes: Belton Chalet, Granite Park Chalet, Many Glacier Hotel, Sperry Chalet, and Two Medicine Store. Together they exemplify a distinct architectural style being used on a massive scale for park concessions development (c. 1913 to 1915). This National Historic Landmark probably contains the largest collection of Swiss-style buildings and the only U.S. example of the use of a European system of hostelries built a day's hike or ride apart.

Lake McDonald Lodge, with Park Bus in front
Photo by Lon Johnson
Lake McDonald Lodge: Planned to rival the accommadations being built contemporaneously at Glacier National Park by the Great Northern Railway, Lewis Glacier Hotel is one of the finest examples of the Swiss chalet style in the country. Above a stone ground floor the upper stories are frame, and interior spaces use natural materials to create a purposely rustic, frontier atmosphere. Begun in 1913, the hotel opened in 1914, and its name was changed to Lake McDonald Lodge in 1957. It still serves its original purpose, and the lobby floor still contains inscribed Indian messages translated as "New life to those who drink here" and "Big feast."

Find out more about Glacier National Park:
National Register Multiple Property Nomination | Going-to-the-Sun Road TwHP Lesson Plan
Glacier National Park Website | Back to Park Week Home

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