Meeting on Sperry Chalet rebuild held Wednesday

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An aerial view of Sperry Chalet. (Photo courtesy of Gravity Shots/Glacier Park Conservancy)

Glacier National Park leaders will give the public a first look at its vision for rebuilding the Sperry Chalet at a meeting in Kalispell on Wednesday, Feb. 28.

The Park Service will host a community event “The Sperry Chalet Experience: Past, Present, and Future” on Feb. 28 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Flathead Valley Community College Arts and Technology Building, Room 139 in Kalispell.

A recent overflight has shown the stone remains of the structure are intact so far this winter. The main dormitory of the chalet complex was gutted during the Sprague Fire on Aug. 31.

But the masonry remained standing and Park crews, with funding support from the Glacier National Park Conservancy, stabilized the walls using wooden beams.

“We’re excited to kick off our schematic design process for the Sperry Chalet rebuild,” said Park Superintendent Jeff Mow. “This is the first of several opportunities for the public to engage and comment and we hope it will be informative to our selected architects as they engage in the design process. Come and tell us your Sperry Chalet story.”

Anderson Hallas Architects, PC out of Denver, Colorado, has been selected to lead the Sperry Chalet concept design effort.

The first part of the program will feature a 20 minute informative conversation about the park’s chalets, their national historic significance, and the Great Northern Railroad’s influence on tourism and park infrastructure, still in evidence today, with Park Museum Curator Deirdre Shaw.

Following the history program, the park will introduce preliminary concepts to rebuild the Sperry Chalet dormitory building and host a question-and-answer session with Park Superintendent Jeff Mow and Deputy Superintendent Eric Smith. Conservancy Executive Director Doug Mitchell will share an update on fundraising efforts and opportunities in support of rebuilding the Sperry Chalet.

After the presentation, attendees will be able to share their Sperry Chalet stories in written comment form or with park staff, and offer input about the concepts shared during the program.

On Feb. 28, the park will also post a newsletter on the National Park Service Planning website describing preliminary rebuilding concepts with an opportunity for public comment either online or via written letter for those that can’t attend the meeting.

The chalet is a national icon. Guests from around the world have stayed in the iconic structure and there has been an upwelling of support to rebuild the 105-year-old structure.

Additional public outreach and an opportunity to meet with the architects will be planned for later this spring. Anderson Hallas most recently led the design for the multi-year Many Glacier Hotel rehabilitation which was completed in 2017.

“Rebuilding historic Sperry is a priority, and I’m excited the work is moving along,” said Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke. “The Conservancy and the park put in a lot of work to stabilize the building for winter, and now we can start to rebuild for future family adventures at Sperry.”

Montana’s Congressional delegation has also supported rebuilding the chalet.

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