Classified Federal Heritage Building
Banff National Park of Canada, Alberta
© Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, 2017.
Skoki, Banff National Park of Canada, Alberta
Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
1932 to 1932
FHBRO Report Reference:
Description of Historic Place
Description of Place
Honeymoon Cabin is a rustic style, simple, one-room cabin with a gabled roof extending over the entrance on log purlins to shelter the raised wooden porch. It is located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, adjacent to a glacier fed mountain stream and surrounded by a forest filled with spruce and white bark pine at an elevation of 7,100 feet in a clearing on the Banks of Little Pipestone Creek at Skoki Lodge in Banff National Park. It was constructed during the management tenure of well known Banff artists and philanthropists who sponsored the 1932 expansion, Peter and Catherine Whyte, and was one of the earlier two structures built to provide additional accommodation very shortly after construction of the main building. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Honeymoon Cabin is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations and its architectural and environmental values.
Honeymoon Cabin is a very good illustration of the national historic theme of recreation and tourism and its development in Canada's National Parks. The first such facility to operate on a commercial basis in Canada, Honeymoon Cabin, as part of the facility, was built specifically to cater to the growing number of ski-tourists shortly after the construction of the main lodge in Banff National Park and represents the pioneering phase of skiing as a major recreational activity in North America. Skoki Ski Lodge remains a major destination point within the park where Honeymoon Cabin continues to accommodate park visitors from all over the world.
Honeymoon Cabin is a very good example of the rustic design tradition in Canadian National Parks and winter resort construction. It serves as an example of an original traditional log design and construction using local materials and workmanship long associated with the Banff region.
Honeymoon Cabin's picturesque mountain setting, layout of the buildings and their relationship to each other, historic trails, footpaths and unspoiled setting reinforce its historical relationship to the site. It remains on its original site and maintains its original physical and functional relationship to the other buildings, the site and its natural surroundings. Honeymoon Cabin acts as a visual landmark for tourists in the park and is a well known skiing and hiking destination for travelers. Access to the site is restricted to traditional methods of transportation thus maintaining its original remote wilderness quality.
Kate Macfarlane, Skoki Ski Lodge, Banff National Park, Alberta. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 96-105.
Honeymoon Cabin, Skoki Ski Lodge, Banff National Park, Alberta. Heritage Character Statement 96-105.
The following character defining elements of Honeymoon Cabin should be respected:
Its rustic aesthetic and traditional log design construction as manifested in: Its simple and plain massing as a single-room gable-roofed cabin. Wood as the predominant construction material with locally hewn spruce logs as the bulk of construction material. The walls of unscribed horizontal log construction with saddle-notched corners. The roof extended on log purlins over the entrance sheltering the raised wooden porch. Entrance door centered on the front gabled end. A single window centered on each side elevations and small asymmetrically placed windows located on the back elevation. Multi-paned front windows, one on each side of the door. The patina of weathered wood. Multi-paned windows, the plank door and the tongue-and-groove floorboards constructed of milled lumber components.
The manner in which Honeymoon Cabin reinforces the picturesque character of the mountain park setting.
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 Honeymoon Cabin of the Skoki Ski Lodge National Historic Site was constructed in 1932. Constructed during the management tenure of Peter and Catherine Whyte, it was one of two structures built to provide additional accommodation shortly after construction of the main building. The cabin currently retains its original use as tourist accommodation. Parks Canada is the custodian of this National Historic Site. See FHBRO Building Report 96-105.
Reasons for Designation
The Honeymoon Cabin of the Skoki Ski Lodge National Historic Site has been designated Classified primarily for its environmental significance, but also for its architectural qualities and historical associations.
The Skoki Ski Lodge is environmentally significant for several reasons. Situated twelve miles north of Lake Louise in the Skoki Valley, the resort lies in the centre of magnificent ski touring country close to several glaciers. The Honeymoon Cabin and four other guest cabins are arranged in a fan-like semi-circle around the centrally-placed main building. Since access to the site has not changed, being restricted to foot, horseback and ski trail, the remote, wilderness character remains unspoiled.
The Skoki Ski Lodge is a unique example of an original rustic winter resort characteristic of the Banff region. It has remained virtually unchanged since its completion in 1936.
The historical significance of the Honeymoon Cabin, as a component of the entire lodge, derives from its association with the growth of back-country recreation in the national parks and the development of tourism. Being the first such facility to operate on a commercial basis in Canada, the Skoki Ski Lodge represents the pioneering phase of skiing as a major recreational activity.
The Skoki Ski Lodge influenced further recreational development in the area. The immediate popularity of the resort resulted in the construction of the Honeymoon and Wolverine cabins, built the same year. The lodge remains a major destination point within the park.
Character Defining Elements
The heritage character of the Honeymoon Cabin resides in its picturesque mountainous setting and in its rustic design. Its simple configuration and use of local materials exhibit the basic tenets of rustic architecture.
Its massing is plain: a simple, single-roomed cabin with a gabled roof. The roof is extended on log purlins over the entrance to shelter the raised wooden porch. The entrance door is centred on the front gabled end, and is flanked by two small windows. A single window is centred on each of the side elevations. The patina of weathered wood contributes to the historic appearance of the Cabin. The simple massing of the Honeymoon Cabin is an important feature of the rustic aesthetic, and should be maintained.
Wood is the predominant construction material. Locally-hewn spruce logs supply the bulk of construction material. The walls are of unscribed horizontal log construction with saddle-notched corners, characteristic of the traditional log construction practised in the mountain parks during the early decades of this century. Multi-paned windows, the plank door and the tongue-and-groove floorboards are constructed of milled lumber components. Aluminum sheet-metal roofing has replaced the original wood shingles, and an earlier fireplace and chimney, probably made of stone, have been removed. Any repairs or upgrades should match the original construction materials and retain the simplicity of their execution. Consideration may be given to reinstating the wood shingle roof and stone fireplace and chimney.
The single-room interior is heated by a small wood-burning stove. Facilities are simple but adequate, contributing to the back-country recreational experience. It would be fitting to maintain the function and layout.
In 1932, the Wolverine and Honeymoon cabins were added to the Skoki Ski Lodge site a short distance from the main building; by 1936, the number of cabins had increased to five. The Honeymoon Cabin remains on its original site to the northeast of the main building, but its relationship to both the alpine landscape and the other buildings has evolved slightly since 1932. In spite of this, and beyond maintaining the traditional site relationships, preventing vehicular access is the most important factor in maintaining the remote, wilderness quality of the resort's setting.