Stone Fireplaces in Grand Lodges is an excellent topic for today, July 4th weekend in America. The subject is perhaps an uplifting note in general for a changing Americana. Why this connection? Simply travel around America visiting our renowned national parks and stay in the Grand Lodges associated with them. There you will find sublime examples of natural stone fireplaces in lobbies, anterooms, sitting areas, and guest rooms. Case in point, the stone fireplace from Grand Canyon National Park at the top of this post.
Theodore Roosevelt, shown above with John Muir via Wikicommons, still holds powerful sway over the American imagination. This is especially true when we discuss our national parks and the part he played in their creation. When TR said “conservation means development as much as it does protection,” the idea of the historic lodges being built inside the parks was born; with these lodges came the period architecture that has come to symbolize them. Finally in this line of thought are the often massive, sometimes playful, but always memorable natural stone fireplaces.
My intention is not to deliver a travel blog, but here are links to five great national park lodges: The Ahwahnee in Yosemite in California, El Tovar in Grand Canyon in Arizona, The Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone in Wyoming, The Crater Lake Lodge, in Crater Lake in Oregon, and my personal favorite, The Glacier Park Lodge in Glacier National Park in Montana. All are transcendent pieces of Americana and prime examples of form following function in their use of natural stone.
Now add an equally tremendous five from outside the National Park System: The Grand Hotel in Michigan, The Sagamore in upstate New York, The Broadmoor in Colorado, The Lodge at Torrey Pines in California, and my favorite, The Balsams Grand Resort in New Hampshire. The fireplace from the Balsams is below in the form of an artist’s rendering.
In conclusion, for the hospitality designer striving for authenticity why not include a fireplace that calls to mind the Grand Lodges? To the luxury residential designer and/or homeowner visualizing a small alcove in a Grand Lodge and wondering how to make it their own, give me a shout at 305.986.1046. I can help! As always, thanks for reading and please remember the meaning of this weekend!