Old Faithful Inn

Bringing a historic icon
into the 21st Century

Old Faithful Inn

ARCHITECTURE   |   HISTORIC PRESERVATION

Located in one of the most iconic, natural settings, Old Faithful Inn has served as the most popular tourist lodging in Yellowstone National Park for over a century. In honor of the building’s 100th anniversary, an extensive renovation restored the Inn’s historic architectural elements and charactering-defining features to maintain its listing as a National Historic Landmark and satisfy modern building requirements. While damage from a 1950’s earthquake threatened the historic building’s collapse, the design team devoted over a decade to a series of complex, hyper-detailed efforts to update the Inn’s structural integrity, preserving the beloved structure’s legacy for generations to come.

Old Faithful Inn

Bringing a historic icon
into the 21st Century

ARCHITECTURE
HISTORIC PRESERVATION

Located in one of the most iconic, natural settings, Old Faithful Inn has served as the most popular tourist lodging in Yellowstone National Park for over a century. In honor of the building’s 100th anniversary, an extensive renovation restored the Inn’s historic architectural elements and charactering-defining features to maintain its listing as a National Historic Landmark and satisfy modern building requirements. While damage from a 1950’s earthquake threatened the historic building’s collapse, the design team devoted over a decade to a series of complex, hyper-detailed efforts to update the Inn’s structural integrity, preserving the beloved structure’s legacy for generations to come.

Modern systems hidden
within historic bones

While integrating new systems and structural components, significant efforts were utilized to ensure all work was concealed from view to preserve the building’s original character. Log walls were strengthened with structural pinning, while steel frames were inserted into the cores of log columns to provide additional lateral loading. Hiding seismic upgrades and building systems within the existing infrastructure required sequential removal, numbering, protection, and restoration prior to reinstallation.

Modern systems hidden within historic bones

While integrating new systems and structural components, significant efforts were utilized to ensure all work was concealed from view to preserve the building’s original character. Log walls were strengthened with structural pinning, while steel frames were inserted into the cores of log columns to provide additional lateral loading. Hiding seismic upgrades and building systems within the existing infrastructure required sequential removal, numbering, protection, and restoration prior to reinstallation.

Rejuvenating the “Old House”

The renovation included reconditioning historic elements still in place, in addition to restoring original features lost over time. Meticulous corrective techniques were applied to the epic, 85-foot-tall stone fireplace, while historic light fixtures were removed, restored, and rewired. Wool rugs were reproduced based on historic photographs and recovered samples to establish a compatible expression to the Inn’s deep-rooted history.

Rejuvenating the “Old House”

The renovation included reconditioning historic elements still in place, in addition to restoring original features lost over time. Meticulous corrective techniques were applied to the epic, 85-foot-tall stone fireplace, while historic light fixtures were removed, restored, and rewired. Wool rugs were reproduced based on historic photographs and recovered samples to establish a compatible expression to the Inn’s deep-rooted history.

Driving progress in an adverse environment

To limit disturbances for tourists and hotel guests, all construction was completed during the winter months while the Inn was closed for the season, requiring the project be completed through numerous phases in extreme conditions, including below-zero temperatures and multiple feet of snow.

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