National Park Service Rustic (1916-1956)

National Register #77000149: Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite The Ahwahnee
Yosemite National Park
Built 1926-1927
Photographed 18 December 2006
(Click Photo to Zoom)

The National Park Service Rustic Style, also called NPS Rustic or Parkitecture, was developed by the National Park Service to create buildings that harmonized with the natural environment.

In the 1920s, NPS established a policy of rustic design. Promulgated primarily by landscape architect Thomas Chalmers Vint, with support from architect Herbert Maier, rustic design became entrenched as standard practice in the Park Service. During the 1930s, the Park Service administered Civilian Conservation Corps projects in state parks, and used the opportunity to promote rustic design on a widespread scale.

Examples of the style can be found in numerous types of National Park structures, including entrance gateways, hotels and lodges, park roads and bridges, visitor centers, trail shelters, informational kiosks, and even mundane maintenance and support facilities. Many of these buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

National Park Service Rustic buildings are characterized by:

  • Intensive use of hand labor
  • Native wood and stones
  • Native stylistic elements
  • Asymmetrical floor plan

After World War II, it became apparent that facilities could not be built in sufficient quantity to contend with a huge increase in automobile traffic. In the Mission 66 program, Vint and Maier abandoned the rustic style in favor of a leaner and more expeditious modern style.

Source: Wikipedia


Name Year Address City Sort Address Sort Name
Ahwahnee Hotel1927Yosemite ValleyYosemite National ParkYosemite ValleyAhwahnee Hotel
Big Basin Headquarters Building193621600 Big Basin WayBig Basin Redwoods State ParkBig Basin WayBig Basin Headquarters Building
Big Elk Guard Station 1929Big Elk RoadRogue River National Forest Big ElBig Elk Guard Station
Butte Falls Ranger Station 1935Laurel AvenueButte FallsLaurelButte Falls Ranger Station
Comfort Station No. 72 1930Rim Village Campground Crater Lake National ParkRim Village Campground Comfort Station No. 72
Crater Lake Lodge1924Rim VillageCrater Lake National ParkRim VillageCrater Lake Lodge
Dead Indian Soda Springs Shelter1936South Fork Little Butte Creek RoadRogue River National Forest South ForkDead Indian Soda Springs Shelter
Fish Lake Shelter1936Highway 140 Rogue River National Forest Highway 140 Fish Lake Shelter
Glacier Point Trailside MuseumGlacier Point RoadYosemite National ParkGlacier Point RoadGlacier Point Trailside Museum
Sinnott Memorial1931Rim DriveCrater Lake National ParkRim DriveSinnott Memorial
Superintendent's Residence 1932Munson Valley RoadCrater Lake National ParkMunsonSuperintendent's Residence

Architectural Styles | Architects