The Delicate Balance to Preserve History and Renovate for the Future

Crater Lake National Park continues to mystify and attract visitors from all corners of the world. Since its opening in 1902, it is a bucket list for not only outdoor enthusiasts, but for all who crave to experience its natural beauty and wonder. It is the crown jewel of what Oregon has to offer with its crystal, clear water, jaw dropping backdrop of mountain peaks and historic structures that welcome and house all who step foot on the rim.

Ausland Group has a long-standing passion of engagement to improve historic properties. It is no surprise that Crater Lake National Park joined the impressive list of historic restoration projects. The Ausland team is now trusted with the meticulous and important task of renovating the Steel Visitor Center which was built in 1932 and originally served as a ranger dormitory.

The building sits at 6,000 feet in elevation with an annual snowfall of 540 inches. Its rustic design along with expansion native stone floor on the ground level and steeply pitched wood roof make it an exciting challenge to balance its heritage with the necessary upgrades to be sustainable for many years to come.

Ausland’s expertise of seismic renovations is key to provide the framework to handle the annual snowfall and guarantee the structure’s longevity. The stabilization work continues with the stone wall retrofit with steel reinforcement rods, core drilling and new perimeter footing. The project is under constant monitoring by an archeologist to guarantee its integrity and sustainability. Key mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades are being executed within the building to provide better functionality.

The projected opening is scheduled in 2023. When completed, the Steel Visitor Center will retain its heritage which brought it national historic recognition while delivering an exquisite greeting experience for all guests who come discover the majesty of Crater Lake National Park.

Chris Morsa | July 19, 2022

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