Stabilization efforts seem to be working after wildfire destroyed iconic Glacier National Park chalet
MONTANA LIVING — The iconic Sperry Chalet, which was partly destroyed by wildfire last summer, seems to be wintering well.
Glacier National Park in partnership with the Glacier National Park Conservancy has completed an initial fixed-wing overflight of the Sperry Chalet dormitory building to check on its status.
The chalet dormitory building was burned during the Sprague Fire on Aug. 31, 2017. The preliminary overflight indicates that the dormitory walls are still standing, and appear to be in good condition.
Last fall, with the financial support of the Glacier National Park Conservancy, the park completed a significant stabilization effort to protect the remnant dormitory walls from snow loads and high winds expected this winter.
TThe park has received funding through the Conservancy to complete two more flights, planned for March and April. Those flights will be scheduled when weather conditions allow.
The flight made possible by donations to the Glacier National Park Conservancy, the park’s official philanthropic partner.
The National Park Service will host a community event entitled “The Sperry Chalet Experience: Past, Present, and Future” to engage with the public, explore the nature of the Sperry Chalet visitor experience, and hear about what pieces of that experience are important to retain as the National Park Service rebuilds Sperry Chalet.
The program will be held on February 28 from 6:30 -8:30 p.m. at the Flathead Valley Community College Arts and Technology Building, Room 139 in Kalispell, MT.
Photo Courtesy Gravity Shots/Glacier National Park Conservancy
The first part of the program will feature a 20 minute informative conversation about the park’s chalets, their national historic significance, and the Great Northern Railroad’s influence on tourism and park infrastructure, still in evidence today, with Park Museum Curator Deirdre Shaw. Following the history program, the park will introduce preliminary concepts to rebuild the Sperry Chalet dormitory building and host a question and answer session with Park Superintendent Jeff Mow and Deputy Superintendent Eric Smith. Glacier National Park Conservancy Executive Director Doug Mitchell will share an update on fundraising efforts and opportunities in support of rebuilding the Sperry Chalet.
After the presentation, attendees will be able to share their Sperry Chalet stories in written comment form or with park staff, and offer input about the concepts shared during the program. On February 28, the park will also post a newsletter on the National Park Service Planning Website describing preliminary rebuilding concepts with an opportunity for public comment either online or via written letter. Anderson Hallas Architects, PC of Denver has been selected to lead the Sperry Chalet concept design effort.
Additional public outreach and an opportunity to meet with the architects will be planned for later this spring. Anderson Hallas most recently led the design for the multi-year Many Glacier Hotel rehabilitation which was completed in 2017.