AKA: King County, Lake Wilderness Center, Maple Valley, WA; City of Maple Valley, Lake Wilderness Lodge, Maple Valley, WA

Structure Type: built works - recreation areas and structures

Designers: Young, Richardson, Carleton and Detlie, Architects and Engineers (firm); William Hodder Carleton (architect); John Stewart Detlie Sr. (architect); Stephen Hinley Richardson (architect); Arrigo Mazzucato Young (civil engineer/mechanical engineer)

Dates: constructed 1950-1951

3 stories

22500 SE 248th Street
Lake Wilderness, Maple Valley, WA 98038-6008

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The Gaffney Family opened this resort on Lake Wilderness in 1939, and, with extensive growth, commissioned Seattle architectural firm Young, Richardson, Carleton and Detlie to create a modern lodge center in the late 1940s. Construction was completed by 1951. Prior to the resort, in the 1890s, land around Lake Wilderness had provided trees for a lumber mill that operated here, followed by a farm owned by the Jacobsen Family. The Jacobsens, who obtained property here by the early 1900s, had either rented or sold it to enable the creation of two, then three, resorts in the 1920s. Mass auto ownership and road construction by this time made resorts located away from train routes feasible. In 1966, King County obtained land around Lake Wilderness for a county park, and operated the lodge as a service and rental conference center as late as 2003. In that year, it sold the lodge to the City of Maple Valley, which has operated it as a municipal conference center since then. The City of Maple Valley produced a history of the lodge on its web site, which quoted a contemporary newspaper article discussing a large, load-bearing totem pole located in the heart of the building: "A thirty-three foot tall totem pole, surrounded by a spiral staircase, stretches up to the ceiling is the central feature of this three story, spacious, window-lined lodge. A story in the Renton Chronicle, dated March 1950, shows a photo of the pole being erected. The caption reads, 'Thirty-five feet high, and weighing approximately 10 tons, a spectacular Totem pole was erected last Wednesday at Gaffney's Lake Wilderness resort. The resort is currently undergoing a $300,000 expansion program. The pole will serve as a structural column supporting the hotel roof.'" (See "History of the Lake Wilderness Lodge,"Accessed 06/08/2012.) Engineer/sculptor Dudley Carter produced the totem pole which supported the roof and a mezzanine floor.

In 1952, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) presented a National Honor Award to the Seattle firm of Young, Richardson, Carleton and Detlie for their work on Gaffney's Lake Wilderness Lodge. The firm that commissioned the building was called Gaffney's Lake Wilderness, Incorporated. In 1953, the architect Victor Steinbrueck featured the lodge on the last page of a guidebook he wrote for architects visiting Seattle during the 1953 American Institute of Architects Convention.

Alterations were made to allow the lodge to become ADA-compliant in the 1990s.

King County Landmark: ID n/a

PCAD id: 5561