16 September 2011

Hold up the heavens

Sometimes we talk about art for the sake of art, sometimes for the sake of the artist, and sometimes for the sake of what it represents or depicts. Today, we’re talking about a traditional art form and the way in which it is presented. In case you’re wondering what and where I’m talking about, today we’re glancing up at the carved creatures of the Wilderness Lodge’s columns.

Atop many of the individual posts throughout the atrium of the Wilderness Lodge are carved representations of animals that are native to the Pacific Northwest. While the creatures can be seen from the ground floor, the best vantage points are from the higher levels of the resort, overlooking the beams and lobby alike.That certainly is a lot of wood scattered and bunched together, isn’t it? As it turns out, eighty-five loads of Lodgepole Pine, otherwise known as Shore Pine, were brought in from Montana and Oregon to complete the lobby. The Lodgepole Pines were utilized because of their straight, long trunks, which include an average diameter of twenty-four inches. To give you a sense of how much wood was employed for the hall, if laid end-to-end, the timbers would stretch out for forty miles.

Notice how the how the main support columns are composed of several logs of varying heights have been lashed together? This staggering is used to support the main column, which reaches seven stories up to support the Wilderness Lodge’s pitched roof. Beyond just the roof, however, Native American legend states that the log bundles not only hold up the roof, but they also hold up the heavens.

It amazing how much thought went into the simple support beams. The use of a native lumber source that is imbued with special meaning to the indigenous people, as well as artfully crafted portrayals of native creatures, is a gorgeous addition to the Wilderness Lodge.


Ben from RI said...

This is where we stayed in January when we went. It is quite beautiful. You are right Ryan the amount of detail that was put into this resort. From the support beams, to the animal tracks in the cement, to the topiaries, even the geyser (which was under repair during our stay). All of it is beautiful and all of it is Disney Magic. Added Bonus was the ability to go down to the docks and hop on a boat to MK at anytime. Great resort that is a must if you have little ones.

Ryan P. Wilson said...

Ben - I was able to stay there last fall and, being a Fort Wilderness kid, fell in love all over again! My favorite part was hearing the boat and train whistles echoing across the lake. I've also dug up some more Wilderness Lodge goodness that we'll be talking about soon on the Gazette!