Staff Residential Area – Rocky Mountain National Park CO

Description

The New Deal contributed many residential buildings for park staff at Rocky Mountain National Park, particularly in the large cluster of housing next to the utility area – the main maintenance station for the park which is near the Beaver Meadows entrance.

The National Park Service began construction of the area in the 1920s and completed it in the 1930s with the help of Public Works Administration (PWA) funding and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) labor.  The New Deal agencies built four residences,  renovated six others and left behind some CCC camp buildings.

The overall style of the buildings is national park rustic, wooden planks and timber construction on simple stone or cement foundations, usually with gables and porches. 

The area was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 as the Rocky Mountain National Park Utility Area Historic District, which contains some 16 maintenance buildings and a dozen residential structures.

The national register nomination form provides the following details (Wheaton 1975), though we have not identified all the buildings in the photographs.

New structures:

Residence#45: 32′ x 32′, L plan, 3 bedrooms, attached garage (1939).
Residence #46:  37′ x 40′, T plan, 2 bedrooms, 2-car basement garage (1939).
Residence #47: 30′ x 49′, rectangular, 1-1/2 stories, 3 bedrooms, 2-car basement garage (1938).
Residence #48:  30′ x 45′, rectangular, 1-1/2 stories, 3 bedrooms, 2-car basement garage (1939).

Renovated structures:

Residence #3. 25′ x 30′; L-plan; one bedroom (Built 1927; remodeled 1939).
Residence #4. 25′ x 30′; L-plan; one bedroom (Built 1927; remodeled 1939).
Residence #5: 30′ x 40′; L-plan; two bedrooms (Built 1927; remodeled 1939).
Residence #6: 25′ x 30′; L-plan; one bedroom (Built 1927; remodeled 1939).
Residence #7: 25′ x 40′; 1-1/2 stories; rectangular plan; three bedrooms; wood frame, shingled, log corner detailing (Built 1926; remodeled 1934).
Residence #8: 25′ x 45′; 1-1/2 stories; rectangular plan; wood frame, shingles; timber purlins; enclosed porches (Built 1930, remodeled 1939).

In addition, former CCC camp buildings were converted into residences and dormitiories in the 1940’s on the southwest and northwest sides of the Utility Area.

 

Source notes

Rodd L. Wheaton ( 1975). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Rocky Mountain National Park Utility Area Historic District (pdf). National Park Service.

Julia Brock, A History of the CCC in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Report to the Rocky Mountain Nature Association and Rocky Mountain National Park, 2005. https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/rmnp/ccc.pdf

https://www.historycolorado.org/location/rocky-mountain-national-park-utility-area-historic-district

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Mountain_National_Park_Utility_Area_Historic_District

Project originally submitted by Richard Walker on August 16, 2022.
Additional contributions by Joan Greer.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.

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Location Info


Rocky Mountain National Park, CO 80517

Coordinates: 40.364196, -105.5640

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