Recreation Buildings and Structures

By Robert G. Kenel (reprinted from spring 2010 newsletter)

Chippewa National Forest HQ

Chippewa Nat'l Forest HQ, a CCC-built structure in Cass Lake, MN

Recently, I have been involved with reconstructing some government buildings and bridges. My research has intrigued me. The CCC (Civilian Construction Corporation) built many of the projects. My research sent me to the Chief Historical Architect of National Park Service, Randall J. Biallas ALA. I like a lot of the projects designed by Albert Good. He set the standard in 1930 for all national park buildings and projects with logs, natural stone and settings. Herbert Maien was a consultant to the park service since 1920. His input at Yosemite, Grand Canyon and Yellow Stone, helped establish the rustic style, which the log builders still build today.

My research is on going and I like the history. I keep going back to the book “Wood Handbook”. Published by Algrove Publishing Limited, put together by USDA Forest Products Laboratory. All log builders should have a copy of this book. Read and understand what is written. This is as important as your chain saw. If you don‟t have a copy, get one, its time you get educated.
There is a big market in government work with the Parks and Recreation Department. The national government has projects and so does each state. I would like to have GLLCA members get some of this work. The problem is, they don‟t know we are here and the standards they use are 1930. We could help the government to update and bring more log work to the GLLCA. Another one of my ideas, I can hear the board now, oh boy.
Just look at the signs the state parks and national parks use. There are guesthouses, camp grounds, shelters, bridges, walk ways, etc. Not to mention all the existing structures that need restoration. Community buildings, Indian projects, historical buildings, yes even out houses. Old forts need to be kept up and restored.

The problem is the government still uses old out of date 1920-1930 guidelines and standards we can change this. If you have an extra $100, you can buy a book I read and am going back to it over and over again. Great information, photos, and drawings. A must have. The name is “Park and Recreational Structures” by Prinaton

Architectural Press originally published in 1938 by the Department of Interior as a 3 volume set. The history and photos I have been looking at are similar in the book and gave me ideas of how to build and recreate. My research brings up coatings, pesticides, building green, vocs, grading, and engineering. It has been tough, like I am back in college again. Consulting and advising in restoration has been good to me and I can see it may help all the log builders who would like to increase their knowledge and possibly their workload.

Lots more work needs to be done with the contacts and related information. The GLLCA may be instrumental in rewriting the 1930’s standards. Maybe we could get a committee together if anyone else is committed and I mean committed. Until then, adios.

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The Great Lakes Log Crafters Association is chartered as a non-profit organization in the State of Wisconsin, USA. The Board President, Board Members, and Officers are elected by the general membership and serve as stewards for running the association
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