Henness Ridge Fire Tower - Yosemite National Park CA
The Henness Ridge Fire Tower was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1934. It was actively used until 1966, but is now empty.
The Henness Ridge Fire Tower was one of several fire protection buildings constructed in the Sierra under the guidance of John D. Coffman as a part of a comprehensive fire prevention plan developed in response to difficulties encountered during a 1928 fire near Sequoia National Park.
The Henness Ridge lookout is a fine example of the rustic architecture style developed by the National Park Service (fire towers outside the park are simpler steel and wood structures). It is a 3-story redwood structure built on a granite rubble masonry foundation. The bottom floor was a garage, with living quarters above on the second floor. The third story is a 13’ x 13’ observation cab with surrounding catwalk. An outside stairway wrapping around two sides of the building provides direct access to the catwalk and cab from ground level.
The tower was provided with fixed equipment consisting of three cupboards and an observation platform with a table. A flue chimney was also installed and plumbing consisted of one sink. The structure was insulated against lightning in accordance with Forest Service specifications for fire lookout towers.
Periodic maintenance work has retained the structural integrity and original appearance of the structure.
Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on October 23, 2017.
Additional contributions by John Broesamle.
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