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Great Lodges: Timberline Lodge

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Timberline Lodge, Oregon

The 74,000-square-foot Timberline Lodge was one of the first major projects of the Works Progress Administration, a government organization designed to create jobs during the Great Depression. More than 600 laborers and skilled craftsmen ultimately worked on the spectacular property.

When the lodge opened in 1938, the goal was to lure automobile travelers to the mountains for weekend excursions. Planners envisioned a hotel that was grand yet sensitive to its environment. As a result, the architects opted against the huge exterior logs popular in most great lodges of the day and instead chose a more vernacular clapboard-and-stone exterior reminiscent of the country estates near Portland, 60 miles away.

Built with materials from Mt. Hood National Forest, the lodge’s attention to the environs sets it apart. The roof of the “head house” (opposite) protrudes slightly higher as a symbol of Mt. Hood’s prominence in the Cascade Mountains. World-class skiing is right outside the door.

Inside, a 92-foot hexagonal chimney extends from the lower lobby to the Main Lounge (below). The lounge has Oregon oak couches and hexagonal tables and lampshades to complement the shape of the room. The Blue Ox Bar (above left) has murals of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox. Throughout the lodge, the ironwork, woodcarving and weaving have prompted historians to label Timberline a “living museum.” (503) 622-7979 www.timberlinelodge.com