Sunrise Historic District
Sunrise Historic District
|Location||Mt. Rainier National Park, Sunrise, Washington|
|Area||10 acres (4.0 ha)|
|Architectural style||Rustic style|
|Governing body||National Park Service|
|MPS||Mt. Rainier National Park MPS|
|NRHP Reference #||
|Added to NRHP||March 13, 1991|
The Sunrise Historic District, also known as the community of Sunrise, Washington, is located on a ridge overlooking the northeast side of Mount Rainier in Mount Rainier National Park. The district comprises seven individual structures designed in accordance with the principals of the National Park Service Rustic style. The area is inhabited and open to the public only during a brief period in the summer season.
The area was originally known as Yakima Park, and became accessible with the construction of a new road in the northeastern portion of the park, planned by Ernest A. Davidson of the National Park Service Landscape Division and the Bureau of Public Roads. Davidson prepared a master plan for Yakima Park, by way of contrast to development in the southern portion of the park at Paradise and Longmire, where haphazard development had become a significant management problem. Davidson's plan included a large hotel supporting a community of housekeeping cabins, an automobile service station, toilet facilities, and the unique blockhouses and stockade.
Initial construction was completed in 1932 with the first phase of the Sunrise Lodge, the Sunrise Comfort Station, the service station, the South Blockhouse and the Stockade. The North Blockhouse and Community Building were completed in 1944.
The Sunrise Lodge is a large shingled structure with a steeply-pitched roof, built by the Rainier National Park Company in 1931. The 2-1/2 story building was intended to be the first wing of a resort hotel. It was built in about six weeks, serving as the centerpiece of a complex of 200 tourist cabins. The lodge accommodated dining facilities and staff dormitories. The cabins were removed through the late 1930s and 40s, sold to Eastern Washington farmers for migrant labor housing, or for housing around Puget Sound. Foundations for another wing of the planned U-shaped hotel were excavated, but never completed. The incomplete hotel continued in its original function, and is open on a seasonal basis in the present day.
The area was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 31, 1991. The Yakima Park Stockade Group was declared a National Historic Landmark on May 29, 1987. The Sunrise Comfort Station was individually listed on the NRHP on March 13, 1991. The Sunrise Historic District is in turn 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.
- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. WA-237, "Sunrise Lodge, Longmire vicinity, Pierce County, WA"