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Identification:

Preferred Structure Name:
Willow Park Patrol Cabin
Structure Number:
HS-0027
Other Structure Name(s):
 
Other Structure Name(s)
1. 
Willow Park Cook and Mess Hall
2. 
Willow Park Ranger Station
Park:
Rocky Mountain National Park
Historic District:
 
Historic District
No records.
Structure State:
Colorado
Structure County:
Larimer
Region:
Intermountain
Cluster:
Rocky Mountain
Administrative Unit:
Rocky Mountain National Park
LCS ID:
010515
 
Historical Significance:

National Register Status:
Entered - Documented
National Register Date:
01/29/1988
National Historic Landmark?:
No
Significance Level:
Local
Short Significance Description:
Significant under criterion A for its association with Trail Ridge Road and under criterion C for its NPS rustic architecture (1870-1941).
Long Significance Description:
The Willow Park Patrol Cabin is significant for its rustic design and its association with Trail Ridge Road. In 1915, Congress passed the Rocky Mountain National Park Act to preserve the beauty of Colorado's north park. In order to accommodate a growing number of visitors--thanks in large part to the popularity of the automobile--the park built various ranger stations in the backcountry. The park built these stations to reflect a burgeoning philosophy of rustic design.

Stephen Mather and Horace Albright advocated rustic design within the National Park Service as early as 1918 believing that buildings should blend with their natural surroundings. By utilizing log construction, the cabin follows this design philosophy. The backcountry cabins share the rustic style, although materials vary from stone to log depending on the environment. The cabins and stations are frequently found in remote locations, which increases the rate of deterioration. Despite the extreme environment and the isolated conditions, the cabins and stations are, for the most part, well maintained by the rangers and visitors. The Willow Park Patrol Cabin (#0027) and the adjacent stable (#0258) originally served crews maintaining Fall River Road. As the park's popularity grew, Fall River Road proved inadequate to handle the number of visitors who congested its route each summer day.


To remedy this, the park built Trail Ridge Road between 1927 and 1933. W.L. Lafferty, United States Highway Engineer, supervised the construction by C.A. Colt and Sons (on the east side) and L.T. Lawler (on the west side). It was an engineering feat: eleven miles of its route lies above 11,000 feet and four miles lies above 12,000 feet. Still, the grade does not exceed seven percent. Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous highway in the nation and contributed to the development of the National Park highway/parkway system.
 
Construction Period:

Construction Period:
Historic
Chronology:
 
Physical Event
Begin Year
Begin Year AD/BC
End Year
End Year AD/BC
Designer
Designer Occupation
1. 
Built
1923
AD


Hull, Daniel P.
Architect
2. 
Preserved
2001
AD
2002
AD
NPS

 
Function and Use:

Primary Historic Function:
Patrol Cabin
Primary Current Use:
Patrol Cabin
Structure Contains Museum Collections?:
No
Other Functions or Uses:
 
Other Function(s) or Use(s)
Historic or Current
1. 
Ranger Station
Historic
2. 
Dormitory (Bunkhouse)
Historic
3. 
Road-Related
Historic
 
Physical Description:

Structure Type:
Building
Volume:
2,000 - 20,000 cubic feet
Square Feet:
512
Material(s):
 
Structural Component(s)
Material(s)
1. 
Foundation
Stone
2. 
Framing
Log
3. 
Walls
Log
4. 
Roof
Shingle
Short Physical Description:
One-story, rectangular plan log building with a side gable roof covered with wood shingles. Saddle-notched logs have sawn ends. The building has two doors, both accessed by dimensional lumber stoops (not historic). Wood sliding windows are divided into six lights.
Long Physical Description:
The one-story, log building is rectangular in plan. The gable roof is covered in wood shingles that double every fifth course. The logs are double saddle-notched with sawn ends. Rustic details--such as exposed rafter tips and a fieldstone foundation--characterize the exterior. The building has divided light wood windows. Two doors on the front façade provide access to the two interior rooms that are separated by a log partition. Stairs lead to a small landing in front of the doors. Rustic features in the interior include split-sapling chinking.