Paradise Inn (Washington)
The Paradise Inn's great room interior
|Location:||Mount Rainier National Park|
|Architect:||Heath,Grove & Bell; Rainier National Park Co.|
|Governing body:||NATIONAL PARK SERVICE|
|Added to NRHP:||May 28, 1987|
|Designated NHL:||May 28, 1987|
Paradise Inn is a historic hotel built in 1916 at 5,400 feet (1,645 m) on the south slope of Mount Rainier in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington, United States. The inn is named after Paradise, the area on the mountain it is located. The Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center and the 1920 Paradise Guide House are also at this location. The inn and guide house are where many climbers start their ascent of the mountain. The inn is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a major component of the Paradise Historic District. Additionally, it is part of the Mount Rainier National Historic Landmark District, which encompasses the entire park and which recognizes the park's inventory of Park Service-designed rustic architecture.
The inn was designed by Frederick Heath of Heath, Gove & Bell in 1915. It was initially planned to be built at Longmire. The National Park Service moved the planned location to Paradise when the original financier, John Reese, backed away from the project. The inn was built by the Rainier National Park Company, founded by Steven T. Mather, assistant to the Secretary of the Interior.
Native building materials were used including cedar shingles, native rock and weathered timbers salvaged from a fire in 1885. After 30 years of aging the timbers had developed an unusual silver sheen. The original plan called for a red roof but the Park Service vetoed this in favor of a green roof which blended in with the natural environment. This is in keeping with the National Park Service Rustic style of architecture. The inn opened on July 1, 1917 and cost between US$90,000 and US$100,000.
The lodge is built with exposed cedar logs that provide its structural framework. It includes French doors in 14 bays to "allow summer breezes to enter" and dormer windows for natural lighting to enter on the second story, "augmented by hanging lamps".
In 1931 a golf course was designed by Roy H. Dobell and built at the lodge and in 1936 a ski rope tow was installed.
In 1942 to 1943 the US Army used the inn to house troops training for winter mountain conditions.
The extreme elements took their toll on the inn. In 1952 the Rainier National Park Company sold the inn to the National Park Service who contracted with concessionaires to operate the inn. The Park Service considered demolishing the inn but relented after a public outcry. US$ 1.75 million was spent in 1979 to strengthen and restore the building.
The original building is two stories tall. Two rooms, the great hall and the dining room take up most of the ground floor. A three story section on the building's east side makes the building a T-shape and contains additional guest rooms.
The great hall is 50 by 112 feet (15 m by 34 m) and has a wrap-around mezzanine level. There is are 4 by 6 feet (1.2 m by 1.8 m) stone fireplace at both ends of the room. The mezzanine level was added in 1925.
The dining room is 51 by 105 feet (15.5 m by 32 m) and has a 50 feet (15 m) high stone fireplace. The original guest rooms are above the dining room and are only 8 by 8 feet (2.4 m by 2.4 m). Each one fits between a set of rafters which support the roof.
Hans Fraehnke, a German born carpenter created furniture from local materials for the inn including two 1,500 pound (680 kg) tables, a 14 feet (4 m) tall grandfather clock and a rustic piano which President Harry S. Truman played on during a visit to the inn in 1945. More tables and chairs are from the Old Hickory Company of Indiana.
Two Year Closure 
The inn was closed in 2006 for two years to perform renovations and structural work to allow the inn to withstand a large earthquake. This was done as part of a $30 million USD project which also included the groundbreaking for a new visitor center at Paradise. The inn was scheduled to reopened in May 2008.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- "Paradise". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
- Pacific Northwest: Paradise Inn Great Lodges of the National Parks PBS
- Barnes, Christine; Pfulghoft, Fred (Photographer); Morris, David (Photographer) (April 2002). Great Lodges of the National Parks: The Companion Book to the PBS Television Series. W W West. pp. 48–57. ISBN 0-9653924-5-7.
- Scott, Kay W.; Scott, David L. (February 2002). The Complete Guide to the National Park Lodges, 3rd. Globe Pequot. pp. 195–197. ISBN 0-7627-1197-3.
- "Architecture in the Parks (Paradise Inn)". National Park Service. February 2001. Retrieved 2007-01-02.
- Tweed, William C.; Soulliere, Laura E.; Law, Henry G. (February 1977). "Rustic Architecture: 1916 - 1942". National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-01-02.
- ""Architecture in the Parks: A National Historic Landmark Theme Study: Paradise Inn", by Laura Soullière Harrison". National Historic Landmark Theme Study. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
- Laura Soullière Harrison (1985). PDF (32 KB). National Park Service and PDF (32 KB)
- Carlton Harrell, Debera (October 11, 2005). 244142_lodge11.html "Mount Rainier's Paradise Inn to undergo a two-year face-lift". The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2007-01-02.
- Renée Casavant, Vanessa (September 8, 2005). "Paradise Inn to close for two years". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2007-01-02.
- Architecture in the Parks: A National Historic Landmark Theme Study: Paradise Inn, by Laura Soullière Harrison, 1986, at National Park Service.
- Mount Rainier National Park - Paradise (U.S. National Park Service) - Paradise area of the National Park from the National Park Service.
- Historic timeline, narrative and photos of Paradise Inn - at National Park Lodge Architecture Society website.
- Paradise Construction Projects | Mount Rainier National Park - Construction at the inn and the Jackson Visitor Center.
- Welcome to Mt. Rainier National Park - website of Guest Services, Inc., the concessionaire who runs the inn.
- Paradise Inn, Paradise, Pierce, WA at the Historic American Buildings Survey