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Wawona

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Chinquapin Service Station & Lunch Room, Glacier Point Road & State Highway 41, Wawona, Mariposa County, CA



B&W Photos

HB137405
West Front And South Side From Across State Highway 41, Facing South.

HB137406
West Front And North Side Of Service Station/lunchroom With Ranger Station In Background, Facing South.

HB137407
South Side, Facing North.

HB137408
North Side, Facing South.

HB137409
West Front, Facing East.

HB137410
East Back, Facing West.

HB137411
East Back, South End, Facing Southwest.

HB137412
East Back, North End, Facing Northwest.

HB137413
West Front, Detail Of Porch And Entrance To Living Room (former Lunchroom), Facing East.

HB137414
West Front, Detail Of Exterior Lighting Fixture.

HB137415
South Wall Of Living Room (former Lunchroom), Facing South.

HB137416
East And South Walls Of The Kitchen, Facing Southeast.

HB137417
West And South Sides Of Storehouse In Side Yard, Facing Northeast.


Data Pages


Photo Caption Pages


Item Title


Location
Glacier Point Road & State Highway 41, Wawona, CA

Find maps of Wawona, CA


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS CA-2299
Building/structure dates: 1933 initial construction
Significance: The Chinquapin Service Station and Lunchroom was built in 1933 as part of an overall redesign of the Wawona/Glacier Point Road - State Highway 41 intersection. It is one of four buildings which comprise the Chinquapin Historic District, the others being a public restroom to the southeast and a ranger residence and garage to the southwest. The buildings share a common design style and construction methodology unique to Yosemite and exemplify the National Park Service's interpretation of the rustic design ethic. The following excerpt is taken from the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for the Chinquapin Historic District and serves to describe the building's regional significance. The former Chinquapin administrative complex is considered regionally significant as exemplifying an architectural theme specifically developed by the National Park Service Branch of Plans and Designs in response to earlier building traditions in Yosemite National Park. It is a unique style unused in other parks and is exemplified by only a few buildings in Yosemite. The four buildings at Chinquapin included in this nomination comprise a small historic district exemplifying one aspect of the Park Service's interpretation of the rustic design ethic, specifically, one stressing harmony with the cultural environment rather than the natural setting. The complex is associated with the historic context "Rustic Architecture in Yosemite, 1904-1910"...Wosky [the landscape architect with the Engineering Department of Yosemite National Park at the time plans and designs were being executed for the Chinquapin complex] had earlier realized the impossibility of developing a single architectural theme appropriate to Yosemite because of the wide variety of environments, the distances between developed area, and the stylistic disparity of existing structures. Unfettered by stylistic restraints, therefore, the Park Service designers developed a cultural theme unknown in other mountainous Western parks for the ranger, comfort, and service stations at the Chinquapin site. The simple, white-painted frame buildings with gable roofs, wide porches, and lap siding were typical of the architectural style of many buildings in nineteenth-century California, particularly hotel structures. This white clapboard cottage form had its origins in the East, but became a generic form with regional variations as Anglos moved west. The earlier Sentinel and Wawona hotels, both major complexes in the park, displayed the same architectural characteristics, although on a somewhat grander scale. Because Chinquapin lay on the road between those two hotels (the Sentinel was not razed until 1938), it was considered an appropriate place to further emphasize that cultural theme and tie together the Yosemite Valley and Wawona areas. The service station/lunchroom was featured in the three-volume study by Albert H. Good entitled Park and Recreation Structures, published in 1938. That study served as a training tool for park architects and landscape architects throughout the nation....The study described the Chinquapin concession building (vol. II, p. 86) as follows: In parks of vast size and along extended parkways, concessions to dispense gasoline are necessary. This one dispenses fuel for both man and motor and provides quarters for an attendant in a housing the admirably recaptures the simple character of early California architecture. The significance of this complex was noted by Allan Temko, San Francisco Chronicle architecture critic, who stated in 1987 that the two service stations at Yosemite (one in Yosemite Valley, the other at Chinquapin) prepared in the office of Eldridge T. Spence reveal the "forward movement" of a period when designers had more freedom to be imaginative when confronted by perplexing architectural problems. The buildings at Chinquapin, he said, are important because they were executed at a time when architects could still practice their "high calling" and were not yet "reduced to servitude to fast-buck promoters and pre-packaged structures".... ....The service station, though lacking the physical integrity to stand alone as a National Register property, retains a portion of its functional integrity as employee housing. It has, however, lost its functional integrity as a gas station. Although its architectural integrity is not pristine, it retains several of its character-defining elements and completes the picture of the design scheme and physical layout of the site....

Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

Contents
Photograph caption(s): 
1. WEST FRONT AND SOUTH SIDE FROM ACROSS STATE HIGHWAY 41, FACING SOUTH.
2. WEST FRONT AND NORTH SIDE OF SERVICE STATION/LUNCHROOM WITH RANGER STATION IN BACKGROUND, FACING SOUTH.
3. SOUTH SIDE, FACING NORTH.
4. NORTH SIDE, FACING SOUTH.
5. WEST FRONT, FACING EAST.
6. EAST BACK, FACING WEST.
7. EAST BACK, SOUTH END, FACING SOUTHWEST.
8. EAST BACK, NORTH END, FACING NORTHWEST.
9. WEST FRONT, DETAIL OF PORCH AND ENTRANCE TO LIVING ROOM (FORMER LUNCHROOM), FACING EAST.
10. WEST FRONT, DETAIL OF EXTERIOR LIGHTING FIXTURE.
11. SOUTH WALL OF LIVING ROOM (FORMER LUNCHROOM), FACING SOUTH.
12. EAST AND SOUTH WALLS OF THE KITCHEN, FACING SOUTHEAST.
13. WEST AND SOUTH SIDES OF STOREHOUSE IN SIDE YARD, FACING NORTHEAST.


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