When the picturesque Bryce Canyon Lodge opens next spring, the interior of the old building will have a new, yet preserved and historic look as a result of a $2 million remodeling and restoration project.
Officials said the project was needed to improve efficiency of the facility in meeting increased demands. It is a popular dining facility with visitor housing accommodations.The project was contracted with Edsall Construction of Bozeman, Mont. About 25 local people have been hired in the construction work. Approximately 10 percent of the work force is being provided by the National Park Service.
The lodge was completed in 1925 and its size doubled in 1928. A kitchen, auditorium and gift shop were added, along with beautiful stonework on the exterior.
The designer, architect and decorators are using old photographs of the lodge and are interviewing people who were familiar with it during its earlier days. Original construction drawings are also being used.
Workers are attempting to create a delicate balance between historical integrity and modern-day needs, said project supervisor Kent Brandt of the Park Service Denver Service Center. They are striving to replicate the construction and appearance of the building as it was in the 1920s, while meeting modern building codes.
Some insect damage and wood rotting has been discovered during the remodeling and restoration process. This will require some structural reinforcement and replacement.
Completely new in the building will be the heating, plumbing and electrical systems, a commercial kitchen, fire alarm and sprinkler system.