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Canadian Pacific Railway, Glacier Hotel [Glacier House](--)
Near Rogers Pass and the summit of the Selkirks, BC, Canada
Commercial, Hotel; wood; wall bearing
Client: Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Description: Glacier Hotel was built in 1886 by architect Thomas Sorby [1836-1924], in the wake of Donald Smith, CPR Chairman, driving home the last spike on the Mountains of BC, thus marking the completion of the ambitious and ill-fated Transcontinental Railway. Along with Frasier Canyon House  it had a magnificent location, within sight and easy walking distance of the Illecillewaet Glacier. The view from the train was obscured, however, by massive timber snowsheds that protected the track from avalanches. Since small locomotives of the time were able to haul the dining car through the Rogers Pass [at 4300 feet altitude], the House provided a welcome stopover for meals and an occasion to enjoy the view of the Glacier. Guidebooks of the time suggested a trek to the glacier after dinner, a one-mile walk. Accommodations for short-term sojourns were also provided and demand soon exceeded the hotelís capacity. The House was extended in 1890-1892 after plans by Bruce Price [228, 319]. Edward Maxwell contributed designs for a bowling alley and a billiard room, probably around 1897-1899. The final, and largest, addition was designed by Francis M. Rattenbury [1867-1935] in 1902: 54 new guest rooms were added in the new wing. Mrs. Kate Reed, the wife of CPR Chief hotel manager Hayter Reed, redecorated the interior between 1906 and 1910.
In its heyday, the House boasted more than 100 guest rooms and featured a three-story central block flanked by lower wings. The wood frame was clad in horizontal siding, except the central part whose gable projected slightly and was shingled. The Swiss chalet allusion was deliberate and appreciated by visitors, who enjoyed the Alpine metaphor. Alas, the hotel lost most of its raison díÍtre and its popularity when the tracks were relocated into the Connaught Tunnel in 1916. The 1925 season was its last and the facilities, soon vandalised, were razed in 1929.
See: Kalman, Harold. A History of Canadian Architecture. Volume 2. Toronto, ON: Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 492-493.
Martin, J. Edward, The Railway Stations of Western Canada: A Architectural History. White Rock, BC: Studio E. Martin, 1980, p. 12-13.
Holdings: Hotel; wood; wall bearing
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