Fortune Warden Cabin
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
Banff National Park of Canada, Alberta
(© Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, 1990.)
Fortune, Banff National Park of Canada, Alberta
Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
1941 to 1953
Event, Person, Organization:
James T. Childe
FHBRO Report Reference:
Description of Historic Place
Located on the Spray River, next to an unpaved fire road, encircled by mountains, the Fortune Warden Cabin is a small, simple, gable-roofed, one-room log structure. It is painted red-brown with white windows and trim. The off-centered main entrance door is tucked away under the gabled porch roof. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Fortune Warden Cabin is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Fortune Warden Cabin is a useful example of the transportation and communications network within park boundaries. The cabin is one of a network of cabins built to house wardens patrolling the park on horseback in the summer or on snowshoes or skis in winter.
The Fortune Warden Cabin is a very good example of utilitarian design that is rustic in character, with picturesque qualities. Its value also resides in its simple design, quality craftsmanship and the textures of its locally gathered construction materials.
The Environmental Value
The Fortune Warden Cabin sits alone in a lower sub-alpine meadow encircled by Nestor, Turbulent and Fortune mountains. The cabin is a landmark for travelers in this heavily used backcountry area. The historic relationship of the Cabin to its surrounding landscape has remained unchanged and the cabin is compatible with the present character of its mountain park setting.
Fortune Warden Cabin, Banff National Park, Banff, Alberta, Heritage Character Statement, 93-107.
The character-defining elements of the Fortune Warden Cabin should be respected.
Its utilitarian design with rustic character, quality craftsmanship and materials such as: its simple rectangular plan and massing, with a low-pitched roof, gabled ends and a sheltered off-centered entrance porch; its round log wood construction with saddle-notched corners and rough rubble-stone walls; its paint scheme of dark brown and white, which is a traditional feature of warden cabins.
The manner in which the Fortune Warden Cabin reinforces the present character of its mountain park setting in Banff National Park.
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 Fortune Warden Cabin was constructed sometime between 1941 and 1953. Parks Canada is the custodian department. See FHBRO Building Report 93-107.
Reasons for Designation
Fortune Warden Cabin was designated Recognized because of its historical importance in illustrating the role of the park warden in wildlife protection, and because of its environmental significance.
This cabin is one of a network of cabins built to house wardens patrolling the backcountry of Banff National Park. Located on the Spray River, next to an unpaved fire road, the cabin sits alone in a lower-subalpine meadow encircled by Nestor, Turbulent and Fortune mountains. The cabin is a backcountry landmark near the western park boundary.
The design, although plain, is typical of other wood-frame warden cabins of the rustic cottage style found in Banff National Park. A typical example, it employs structural corner posts, a technique developed for park buildings by Dominion Parks staff engineer James T. Childe.
Character Defining Elements
The heritage character of Fortune Warden Cabin resides in its utilitarian design, natural materials and backcountry setting. Essentially a simple, symmetrical, gable-roofed building, rectangular in plan, it features some design articulation in the small gable in the roof above the front door and the exposed rafter ends.
Wood is the predominant construction material used for the structural frame, horizontal cladding, and window and door components. In the spring of 1953, a heavy wood door was constructed by a warden to keep out grizzly bears. The roof is clad in asphalt shingles. Any repairs should respect the simplicity of these materials and construction techniques.
The historic relationship of the Fortune Warden Cabin to its surrounding landscape has remained intact. The site's remote character should be respected.