GLACIER NATIONAL PARK - The Many Glacier Hotel, one of the most historic structures in Glacier National Park was nearly closed down in 2004 before a group of architects and park enthusiasts began a renovation plan that ended up lasting 13 years.
The hotel was built by the Great Northern Railroad Company which was seen as a gateway to Asia for all the business they did overseas there. The Anderson Hallas Architecture company has worked to renovate the hotel while still holding onto the history of the 1920’s building.
One of those major projects was restoring the lighting in the lobby and the main dining room.
The new light fixtures are modeled from the original Asian style paper lanterns that were in the original lobby -- and architect Nan Anderson says they are her favorite part,
“When the lights go out in nature they come on here in the space and it has a sparkle and a magic that not many spaces have, certainly not many spaces that are built today have.”
The biggest and possibly the most time-consuming project was the recreation of the helical stair case that was taken out in the 1950’s in order to make room for a gift shop.
Anderson says they had some help from the past allowing them to recreate the staircase almost identical to what it was before.
“It presented some interesting challenges because the original was not build to Code, we have to design to Code today, but the benefit was that we had the original drawings, so we worked with those originals drawings to create essentially almost exactly what was here historically," Anderson said.
Anderson added they are not fully done with the renovations but said the most important thing is that the building is secured and will continue to be a historic icon in Glacier National Park for many years to come.
Seven rooms at the Many Glacier Hotel were fully renovated back to resemble how they originally stood in the 1920's.