Description of Historic Place
Creek Cabin, at the Skoki Ski Lodge National Historic Site of Canada is situated in the Banff National Park of Canada. It is a rustic style, simple one-room log structure with a gable roof extending over the entrance on log purlins to shelter the entrance. Situated in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, it lies adjacent to a glacier fed mountain stream and surrounded by a forest filled with spruce and white bark pine at an elevation of 2,164 metres in a clearing on the banks of Little Pipestone Creek. Along with three other guest cabins, it was built in 1936 by Earl Spencer for noted Banff guide, outfitter, and log builder James Boyd, to accommodate the growing number of ski-tourists to the park and completes the site. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Creek Cabin is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
Creek Cabin is a very good illustration of the national 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, Creek Cabin, as part of the facility, was built specifically to cater to the growing number of ski-tourists in Banff National Park of Canada and represents the pioneering phase of skiing as a major recreational activity in North America. The Skoki Ski Lodge remains a major destination point within the park and Creek Cabin continues to accommodate park visitors from all over the world.
Creek 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.
The picturesque mountain setting around Creek Cabin, the 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. Creek 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.
Sources: Kate Macfarlane, Skoki Ski Lodge, Banff National Park, Alberta. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 96-105; Creek Cabin, Skoki Ski Lodge, Banff National Park, Alberta, Heritage Character Statement 96-105.
The character-defining elements of Creek Cabin should be respected.
Its rustic aesthetic and traditional log design and construction and use of local hand-hewn materials 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 centred on each side elevation and small asymmetrically-placed windows located on the back elevation;
- 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 Creek Cabin reinforces the picturesque character of the mountain park setting.