Efforts Ensure Old Faithful Inn Will Put
“Best Face Forward”
for 100th Birthday in 2004
NATIONAL PARK, October 25, 2002 – No botox for this Grande Dame. When the
Old Faithful Inn turns 100 in 2004, the famous Yellowstone National Park
lodge will reflect painstaking, ongoing efforts to repair a few sags and
creaks. What grand lady of 100 years wouldn’t want to have a little repair
work done, after all? But instead of quick fixes using high-tech tools,
workers are likely to use old-fashioned broad axes and adzes. When it comes
to both cosmetic and structural maintenance of the Old Faithful Inn, the
venerable lodge’s protectors look to the past for guidance.
The preservation of one of the first national park lodges in the world’s
first national park has been a continual challenge for its maintenance
crew. Before undertaking a major renovation project on the Old Faithful
Inn, the highly trained Historic Preservation Crew will often examine ancient
blueprints, postcards, books and photographs for clues about the original
structure’s design and architecture.
The crew is comprised of employees of Xanterra Parks & Resorts,
operator of the lodges, restaurants, tours and other concessions in Yellowstone.
Since 1991, the Historic Preservation Crew has been specializing in repairs
and restoration to the park’s historic structures. Certainly the
Old Faithful Inn is the most famous of those facilities.
The most common projects include masonry, glazing, painting, carpentry
and log work.
Through experience, the maintenance crew at the Old Faithful Inn has
discovered that using old-fashioned tools on the distinctive architectural
details of the lodge allows the staff to be more efficient and perform
detail work that is true to the original work. “We originally tried modern
tools on many of the projects, such as the replacement of the cribbing
around steel columns that hold up the porte cochere,” said Barry Cantor,
director of engineering for Xanterra. “But we quickly found that the vintage