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Skibowl's 1930s Warming Hut gets facelift

â-  Mt. Hood National Forest provided $50,000 for the project

This month marks the beginning of restoration efforts on the historic Warming Hut at Mt. Hood Skibowl by the Mt. Hood National Forest. Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - The historic Warming Hut at Skibowl was constructed in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The Warming Hut, which was constructed 77 years ago, has never received restoration efforts as significant as the Forest Service’s recent project.Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - The Forest Service will spend the rest of September restoring and reinforcing the 77-year-old structure.

The project, which will be carried out by a log preservation team, skilled stonemasons and personnel from the Mt. Hood National Forest and Skibowl, will focus on replacing sill logs and repairing log posts and the foundation.

“It was important that we substitute the joists and sill logs with in-kind replacements,” said Alexandra Wenzl, historian for the Mt. Hood National Forest. “In this way, we can ensure that we are maintaining the historic integrity of this building since there are only a handful of structures like these in the country.”

The Forest Service has contributed about $50,000 to restore the Warming Hut.

Constructed by the Forest Service in 1937 as a place for skiers to warm up and rehydrate while on the mountain, the Warming Hut was built at the same time as Timberline Lodge.

According to Chris Bentley of the Mt. Hood National Forest, the Warming Hut represents an important era in United States history.

“Historic structures like the Warming Hut continue to be used as originally designed as a great place to warm up during a day of skiing,” said Bill Westbrook, Zigzag District ranger.

Westerbrook expressed his thanks to Petr Kakes and John Vermaas of Skibowl for their support of the project.Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - A team of log preservation workers, stonemasons and personnel from both the Mt. Hood National Forest and Skibowl Resort are working to preserve the hut.

During the project, in order for support piers to be reinforced with concrete footings, stones will be removed from the structure, temporarily affecting its aesthetics. But Bentley said the Forest Service hopes the project will help preserve the historic structure for future generations to enjoy.

“The Warming Hut shows the high level of quality the (Civilian Conservation Corps) used in construction,” Wenzl said. “In roughly 75 years the structure has only shifted a (quarter) inch. We’re hoping to ensure that the structure can continue to be the popular destination it has always been long into the future.”

The Forest Service hopes to continue work on the Warming Hut as funding becomes available.

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