National Register of Historic Places in Klamath County
Crater Lake Lodge was completed in 1924. The exterior appearance and ground floor public areas have not been greatly altered since then.
At the beginning of the 20th century, many American tourists were going to European resorts. National Parks were a new concept intended to develop pride in the unique scenic wonders of the United States. Many parks included buildings similar to Swiss chalets. Why should a traveler go abroad for an atmosphere that could be enjoyed by staying in one of the rustic lodges of a national park? The scenery was certainly as spectacular as any Europe had to offer.
Crater Lake Lodge used rustic architectural elements to appeal to the romanticism of the tourist. Rubble stone masonry, unpeeled logs, large stone fireplaces and heavy timber framing created an atmosphere similar to a European hunting lodge. The steeply pitched shingled roofs with shed dormers, quite functional in heavy snow, were also reminiscent of the rustic qualities in European resorts and those in such areas as the Adirondack Park of New York.
As a counterpoint to the public spaces, the guest rooms seemed of secondary value; the early management of the lodge didn't provide first class accommodations. When Stephen Mather, first director of the National Park Service, visited the lodge in 1919, he was very upset at the standard accommodations. The rooms were very small, most of them without bathrooms.
Adapted from the NRHP Nomination Form submitted in 1981.