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Identification:

Preferred Structure Name:
Shadow Mountain Fire Lookout
Structure Number:
HS-0043
Other Structure Name(s):
 
Other Structure Name(s)
1. 
Shadow Mountain Patrol Cabin
Park:
Rocky Mountain National Park
Park District:
ROMO West Unit
Historic District:
 
Historic District
No records.
Structure State:
Colorado
Structure County:
Grand
Region:
Intermountain
Cluster:
Rocky Mountain
Administrative Unit:
Rocky Mountain National Park
LCS ID:
010531
 
Historical Significance:

National Register Status:
Entered - Documented
National Register Date:
08/02/1978
National Historic Landmark?:
No
Significance Level:
Local
Short Significance Description:
Significant under criterion C for its representation of NPS rustic architecture (1932-33).
Long Significance Description:
The Shadow Mountain Fire Lookout is significant for its 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. This building best represents rustic design as advocated by Park Service administrators and designers. Members of the NPS San Francisco Landscape Architecture Division, in cooperation with John Coffman, NPS Chief Forester, designed the building. Albert H. Good, in his landmark book, Park and Recreation Structures (1938), believed Shadow Mountain to be one of the best rustic buildings in the Service, saying that it is "illustrative of the happy results where a masonry structure can appear to grow out of a natural rock outcrop." (Part I, 159). Moreover, Shadow Mountain Fire Lookout is the only fire detection structure remaining in Rocky Mountain National Park. It represents early fire policies of the National Park Service. The Park stationed watchmen and women at Shadow Mountain between 1933 and 1968.
 
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
1932
AD
1933
AD
Landscape Division, S.F.
Landscape Architect
2. 
Rehabilitated
1982
AD
1982
AD
NPS

3. 
Restored
1994
AD
1996
AD
NPS (Williamsport Training Center)

 
Function and Use:

Primary Historic Function:
Fire Lookout
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. 
Museum (Exhibition Hall)
Historic
3. 
Cabin/Lookout
Historic
4. 
Visitor Contact (Visitor Center)
Historic
 
Physical Description:

Structure Type:
Building
Volume:
2,000 - 20,000 cubic feet
Square Feet:
546
Material(s):
 
Structural Component(s)
Material(s)
1. 
Foundation
Fieldstone
2. 
Framing
Wood
3. 
Walls
Wood
4. 
Walls
Concrete
5. 
Roof
Shingle
6. 
Walls
Stone
Short Physical Description:
Three-story, square plan stone and frame building. Top floor is observation deck and living quarters. Second and first stories are stone over concrete. Porch and stairs wrap around the exterior. Epitome of NPS rustic design.
Long Physical Description:
The three-story frame and stone building is square in plan. The pyramidal wood shingle roof is painted green. The top floor is an observation room with sash windows on three sides. These are boarded over unless occupied. The interior chamber is finished with vertical board and cupboards painted light green. The third floor also has a plank observation deck with a log railing, which is accessible to visitors. The second and first floors are stone over concrete, accessed via the stairs to the third floor (second floor) and a stone stoop (first floor). The building grows out of the rock formation. With its fieldstone base and log observation deck, the Shadow Mountain Fire Lookout epitomizes rustic design.