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Identification:

Preferred Structure Name:
Fall River Pass Ranger Station
Structure Number:
HS-0058
Other Structure Name(s):
 
Other Structure Name(s)
1. 
Fall River Pass Patrol Cabin
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:
010519
 
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:
Fall River Pass Ranger Station is significant for its rustic design. 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. Between 1932 and 1937 the building was converted into a museum.

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. The Fall River Pass Ranger Station is similarly designed to Chasm Lake Shelter Cabin (0162). There are two other stone buildings in the park: Agnes Vaille (0204) and Twin Sisters Radio Cache (0023). All of these epitomize the rustic style as their design responds to the surrounding landscape and builders used materials found on site. The cabins and stations are frequently found in remote locations and extreme environments, which increase the rate of deterioration. Daniel P. Hull, then Assistant Landscape Engineer in the NPS Yosemite Valley Office, designed Fall River Pass Ranger Station. Hull would later supervise the design of rustic buildings throughout the park and region from the Los Angeles office.

Fall River Ranger Station is also significant for its association with Trail Ridge Road. Constructed between 1927 and 1933, Trail Ridge Road made the Continental Divide and Kawuneeche Valley accessible to the rising automobile-oriented park visitor. 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
1922
AD


Hull, Daniel P.
Architect
2. 
Altered
1932
AD
1937
AD
NPS

 
Function and Use:

Primary Historic Function:
Ranger Station
Primary Current Use:
VACANT (NOT IN USE)
Structure Contains Museum Collections?:
No
Other Functions or Uses:
 
Other Function(s) or Use(s)
Historic or Current
1. 
Exhibit
Historic
2. 
Patrol Cabin
Historic
 
Physical Description:

Structure Type:
Building
Volume:
2,000 - 20,000 cubic feet
Square Feet:
340
Material(s):
 
Structural Component(s)
Material(s)
1. 
Roof
Fieldstone
2. 
Roof
Asphalt
3. 
Foundation
Fieldstone
4. 
Walls
Fieldstone
Short Physical Description:
One-story, rectangular plan stone building with shed roof covered in rolled asphalt weighted by randomly placed stones. The walls and foundation are stone. There are four windows (two-over-two) across the front facade, flanking a central door.
Long Physical Description:
Sitting high in the alpine tundra, the building sits into the side of the mountain to protect it from its extreme environment. The one-story, stone building is rectangular in plan. The walls and foundation are uncoursed fieldstone. The shed roof is covered with finished lumber sheathed with rolled asphalt, weighted by randomly placed boulders. The windows are boarded over. The building has a central door under a log lintel. A trap door in the roof provides access when show has drifted across the front façade.