Summit Fire Lookout
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
Mount Revelstoke National Park of Canada, British Columbia
View of the façade
© Parks Canada Agency/Agence Parcs Canada , 2011
Summit, Mount Revelstoke National Park of Canada, British Columbia
Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
1927 to 1927
FHBRO Report Reference:
Description of Historic Place
The Summit Fire Lookout, located on Mount Revelstoke, is a two-storey wood frame building with an exterior covering of wooden shingles and clapboard. It consists of a square frame structure surmounted by a smaller square cupola, with windows on all four sides. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Summit Fire Lookout is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Summit Fire Lookout is associated with the emergence of the forest conservation movement in Canada at the beginning of the 20th century. It illustrates the emphasis placed on strong government regulation of the forests as a renewable resource, as well as the attention given to fire prevention in forested areas.
The Summit Fire Lookout is a cupola-style lookout cabin whose value resides in its very good functional design. It is based on an American design, which originated with the United States Forest Service, and was introduced to Canada in the early part of the 20th century. The design provides fire wardens with maximum visibility in all directions.
The site of the Summit Fire Lookout maintains its natural appearance as a result of conscious efforts by park officials. The modest size wooden construction is compatible with the natural character of its mountain park setting. The Lookout is the only structure at the summit, and has had a long association with the park. As such, it is a prominent attraction, well known by residents of Revelstoke and yearly visitors.
James De Jonge, Summit Fire Lookout, Mt. Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia, Federal Heritage Building Review Office, 87-047.
Summit Fire Lookout, Mt. Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia, Heritage Character Statement, 87-047.
The character-defining elements of the Summit Fire Lookout should be respected, for example:
Its cupola-style lookout cabin and materials, for example:
Its square frame structure surmounted by a distinctive square cupola, with windows on all sides. Its modest size, two-storey wood frame construction with an exterior covering of wooden shingles and clapboard. Its good functional design which combines a viewing and living area.
The manner in which the Summit Fire Lookout maintains an unchanged relationship with its site and is compatible with the character of its natural setting, and is a prominent landmark as evidenced by:
Its ongoing relationship to its site. Its modest size and wooden construction. Its visibility at the summit of the mountain.
Heritage Character Statement
The heritage character statement was developed by FHBRO to explain the reasons for the designation of a federal heritage building and what it is about the building that makes it significant (the heritage character). It is a key reference document for anyone involved in planning interventions to federal heritage buildings and is used by FHBRO in their review of interventions.
The fire lookout at Mt. Revelstoke was constructed in 1927 at the summit of Mt. Revelstoke by the Dominion Forestry Branch. The custodial department is now the Canadian Parks Service. See FHBRO Building Report 87-47.
Reasons for Designation
The Summit Fire Lookout was designated a Recognized heritage building on the basis of its link to the emergence of the forest conservation movement in Canada at the beginning of the 20th century and because it is a good and rare example of the cupola-style lookout cabin which originated in the United States and was introduced to Canada in the early part of this century.
Character Defining Elements
The heritage character is defined by the exterior massing of the building, by the simple construction method, by the use of common building materials, by the surviving evidence of the interior functional layout and by the building's siting on the summit of Mt. Revelstoke.
The building consists of wood frame construction with an exterior covering of wooden shingles and clapboard. Maintenance and repair should be consistent with the existing architectural vocabulary and materials.
The cupola-style lookout is a two-storey structure where the upper storey was used solely as a viewing area and the lower storey housed the fire warden's living quarters. The original volumes should be retained.
The modest size wooden construction of the lookout enables it to blend in with the surroundings such that it does not detract from the natural character of the area at the summit. Every effort should be made to limit intrusions on the vicinity of the lookout. The trimming of overgrown vegetation around the lookout would restore the original vistas which gave maximum visibility in all directions from the viewing cupola.