The Oregon Caves Historic District covers six acres of the Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve (OCNMP) in the Siskiyou National Forest,
which is accessed through Cave Junction in southwestern Oregon.
The historic district includes four primary buildings:
the Chalet, built in 1924 and reconstructed in 1942 (second, above):
the Guide Dormitory, built in 1927 with major additions in 1940 and 1972 (first, above);
the Oregon Caves Chateau built in 1934, (third above;
and the ranger residence built in 1936.
Having been in several of the buildings not open to visitors, they are spectacular,
but have grown into disrepair though structurally intact. Because of the unique rustic architecture of these National Park Service buildings and the surrounding park landscape, the area was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
The Oregon Caves Chateau is listed as a National Historic Landmark.
From the NPS site: “Landscape architect Arthur Peck suggested the traditional
look of the district, and Grants Pass carpenter and self-taught architect
Gust Lium followed suit when he designed and built the Chateau.
The rocks are the same marble as that which comprised the cave and the bark
which covers the structures is from native Port Orford Cedar trees.
The rustic design of the cave’s historic district set a precedent which was followed in constructing other buildings in several state parks and the Siskiyou National Forest.”
I began with a loose sketch in a Platinum Carbon fountain pen,
and worked brunaille in De Atramentis Document ink (watered down)
to provide shadows and variation under the watercolor.
Watercolors were added, and linework with a small liner added to effect the cedar siding.
The district is an overlooked gem in our nation’s parks. The Chateau, only one of several structures in need of assistance, is known for its rustic Port Orford Cedar exterior, huge open fireplace, female ghost who walks the halls, and most importantly, one of the finest collections of Mason Monterey furniture, some of which is available to use throughout the Chateau, above, shown with one of the conservators for the first batch of two dozen pieces, Mitchell Powell, responsible for woodworking and upholstery treatment.
The Horseshoe-back shown in the watercolor image is a rare Native American pattern atypical of the patterns in the Monterey line. The chair is in what I loosely refer to as the Museum Collection (at present a state-of-the-art treatment room) and unable to be viewed at this time. All painted conservation treatment was performed by yours truly, with a very abbreviated slideshow below, to give you an idea of the care that goes into preserving anything, from buildings to furniture to artworks. For those interested, we have an additional page on the dozen A-Frame chairs which suffered extreme losses and stripping in the 1964 flood through the dining room,
mostly to show the amazing color in the line!
The National Park Service’ excellent administrators have prepared restoration plans,
but both Federal financial assistance and individual donations are needed to fund this restoration. I recommend they be made directly to the NPS with the project you are interested in funding earmarked, instead of to various external entities to ensure that the monies are dispersed to proper conservation efforts which follow NPS protocol. The Chateau has been placed as a higher priority for National Park Service funding, which should assist in driving more guests and awareness to the beautiful park,
thereby generating more funding.
The images donated will
raise money for Restore Oregon at the
Restoration Celebration, November 11th, 2016.
Previous Building Images Completed: Upper Sandy Guard Station; Wong Laundry Building; Uppertown Net Loft; Rivoli Theater; Fort Rock; Jantzen Beach Carousel 1 Chinese Water Serpent; Jantzen Beach Carousel 2, Grapes; Jantzen Beach Carousel 3, Floral; Jantzen Beach Carousel 4, Pinto Fishing; Jantzen Beach Carousel 5, Eagle; Jantzen Beach Carousel 6, Trojan; EOU Inlow Hall Grand Staircase; Lindberg House.
Cold Press watercolor paper, with a Pentalic 2B woodless pencil,
Lamy Al-Star and Pilot Parallel pen with De Atramentis Document black ink
and Platinum Carbon pen with Platinum Carbon ink; Fineline Masking;
Sennelier, Holbein, QoR, M.Graham, and Daniel Smith watercolors.
©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back to dkatiepowellart.
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I teach architectural sketching,
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That annoying loud-mouth editor/critic in your head? GONE! How great would that be?
You guys do such amazing and important work. I love the slideshow! I hope the buildings can someday be reopened to visitors.
Me too. The Visitors Center is in okay condition, but the other buildings really need work! And you can stay at the Chateau, but the rooms are a bit funky!
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Wonderful post, so interesting and I love all your drawings.
Wonderful work on those chairs and chateau!
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Really fabulous work on those chairs. As always great art.
Fabulous pieces! I have been through cave junction once and it is a wonderful area. I hope all the restoration goes well.
Thank you! It is a great area to visit, especially if you go to the ocean via the redwoods!
It looks and sounds like a wonderful place, both the building and the park! And gorgeous art work too!
Thanks! It is, though it is in need a much TLC.