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old faithful inn dining room 12

old faithful inn dining room 12

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The Old Faithful Inn had a pronounced effect on the built environment in North American national parks, influencing the development of the National Park Service Rustic style that became widespread during the 1920s. Although it was not the first hotel with a multi-story lobby, the concept became widespread in the mid-20th century in urban hotels. In 2007 the Old Faithful Inn was selected as number 36 on a list of the 150 favorite buildings in the United States in a poll by the American Institute of Architects.


The inn's architect was 29-year-old Robert Reamer, an architect for the Yellowstone Park Company, which was affiliated with the Northern Pacific Railway. Reamer was hired by Harry W. Child, the president of the Yellowstone Park Company, who had met Reamer in San Diego through mutual acquaintances. Reamer designed the lobby and the initial phase of guest rooms, known as the Old House, which was built in 1903-1904, much of it in the long winter. The east wing was extended in 1913-14, and the west wing in 1927, creating a single structure almost 700 feet (210 m) long. The Old House is rotated 90 degrees with respect to Old Faithful so that a view of the geyser is framed by the entrance porch for arriving visitors. The porch roof provides a viewing platform for viewing eruptions of Old Faithful and other geysers, while the main facade faces Geyser Hill across the Firehole River, where the old Circuit Road once ran through the geyser basin.


On August 17, 1959 the Old Faithful Inn was shaken by the 1959 Hebgen Lake earthquake which collapsed the dining room fireplace chimney and damaged the huge lobby fireplace, reducing the number of usable hearths from eight to two. The building was partially shaken loose from its foundations, and access to some of the upper levels had to be restricted due to safety concerns. There were no deaths or serious injuries at the Inn as a result of the earthquake. The dining room fireplace was finally rebuilt in 1985, but the outside portion of the lobby fireplace chimney was replaced with a single steel pipe, visible in many exterior photos.


Greetings from Yellowstone National Park! To request a dinner reservation please complete the information below. If the date of your dinner reservation request is within the next 3-days, please call us directly for availability and reservations - 307-344-7311 If availability exists to accommodate your request, we will book the reservation and email you a confirmation. If we are unable to fulfill your exact request, we will email you a notification. During the summer season, dinner reservations are required at Grant Village, Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Old Faithful Inn. During the winter season, dinner reservations are required at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Hotel guests are encouraged to make reservations well in advance. Non-hotel guests may make reservations two months in advance of the requested date. Dinner reservations are not accepted at other in-park dining facilities. Breakfast and lunch are on a first-come, first-seated basis throughout the park. Dress attire is casual in all park facilities. We look forward to your visit to Yellowstone National Park.


The high-range rooms in the East and West wing additions were renovated in 1993 and 1994. In celebration of the Inn's centennial in 2004, a major multi-million dollar renovation project of the original "Old House" started construction with the help of A&E Architects of Missoula, Montana. The project was broken into 3 construction phases with the final phase scheduled for completion in June 2008. When finished, the building will meet current building codes and will have a complete infrastructure upgrade including new electrical, plumbing, and heating systems as well as major structural upgrades. In addition to the replacement of the systems of the building, finishes will be cleaned and restored while maintaining as much of the historic material as possible. Wood and wool floor finishes, bathroom tile and fixtures, new replica historic hardware, and an interpretation of the original lavatory stands and basins by Charles Limbert will be installed. Original elements including the recessing of the floor and hearth of the large fireplace in the main lobby and reconstruction of log walls removed in the lobby will correct multiple modifications and changes over the years and bring the Inn back to match more closely Reamer's original design. Great care and sensitivity has been taken to integrate systems and restore and install original and new finishes to maintain the appearance and layout of the Inn during the period immediately after it opened its doors in 1904.


Initial construction was carried out over the winter of 1903–1904, largely using locally obtained materials including lodgepole pine and rhyolite stone. When the Old Faithful Inn first opened in the spring of 1904, it boasted electric lights and steam heat.


According to park lore, a freak blizzard struck the Old Faithful Inn on August 25 sometime in the early twentieth century. Rather than lament the fact that they were isolated, the guests were said to have taken the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in August.


The Inn has been expanded and modified several times. In 1913 the East Wing was added to the 120-room original structure, and in 1922 the dining room was enlarged. In 1927-1928 the West Wing was built, and the front of the main building extended. All of these modifications were carried out under the supervision of the original architect, Robert Reamer. A 1927 addition to the dining room has since become home to the Bear Pit Lounge. Installed in 1936 just off the lobby, the first Bear Pit featured carved and inlaid wood panels with humorous scenes involving bears, created at Reamer's suggestion. When the lounge was converted to a coffee shop, the lounge was relocated to the dining room extension and the panels were replicated in etched glass in 1988. Some of the original panels remain in the snack bar. In 1940 the interior logs were peeled, revealing patterns created by bark beetles, and in 1966 the logs were cleaned and varnished. An automatic fire sprinkler system was added in 1948, together with fire doors in the wings.


Winter visitors to Old Faithful will also find a warm escape and great meal at the Obsidian Dining Room. In winter, we serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, with reservations required for dinner. The Firehole Lounge is open as well, and there are perfect seats for sitting back and propping up your feet in front of the fireplace.


The central feature of the Old House is a tall gabled log structure housing the lobby, dominated by a deep, steeply-pitching shingled roof. The Old House uses load-bearing log lower exterior walls with a log pole interior framework supporting seven stories, six of which are the roof structure. The upper gable walls are of milled lumber framing with shingle sheathing. The front slope of the shingled roof is accented by shed and gabled dormers, some of which are purely decorative. Both interior and exterior framing is supported by twisted or curved branches, giving the entire structure a strongly rustic air. There are two levels of balconies, the lower encircling the lobby and the upper on two sides. Stairs climb from the second balcony to a platform in the framing known as the "Crow's Nest" which once was used by musicians to entertain guests, then on to the crown of the gable 92 feet (28 m) above the lobby floor. The entire structure is crowned by a roof walk that once held searchlights to illuminate Old Faithful Geyser at night. The original guest wings are 3-1/2 stories tall on either side of the lobby. It is anchored to the ground by a rhyolite foundation that extends to the first floor window sills.


With its log and limb lobby and massive (500-ton, 85-foot) stone fireplace, the inn is an example of the "Golden Age" of rustic resort architecture, a style which is also known as National Park Service Rustic. It is unique in that it is one of the few log hotels still standing in the United States. It was the first of the great park lodges of the American west.


The dining room extends to the south of the lobby, with log scissors trusses supporting a more shallowly-pitched roof at right angles to the lobby roof. The dining room has its own stone fireplace, less massive than the lobby's, but still large. The Old House guest rooms retain much of their original character.


Beautiful custom chandeliers accent the Obsidian Dining Room. The Obsidian serves a range of appealing items including Bison Short Ribs and Wild Alaska Salmon. Seating is first-come, first served for all meals. Breakfast is à la carte. During the evening, reflect on your day with friends and family at the Firehole Lounge, located just off the Obsidian Dining Room. If you’re lucky, you’ll get one of the comfy chairs in front of the large fireplace!


The east and west wings were purposely designed by Reamer to be less prominent than the central house. The wings are three to four stories in height with a mansarded top floor and a flat roof. The east wing is straight, originally with 100 rooms. The west wing is Y-shaped, with 150 guest rooms as built. The interiors of the wings are unremarkable compared with the Old House.