September 21, 2017

Oregon Caves Chateau - Page 5

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Photos taken in June 2004.

Leaving the Oregon Caves Chateau's lobby, we head down the grand staircase to a large landing with a bench and picture window.  From the window at the stair landing you can see the waterfall and Trout Pond in the courtyard below.   From the landing three separate stairs lead to various parts of the building.  To the right a short flight of stairs leads down to the Caves Diner Coffee Shop. To the left another staircase goes down to the gift shop. Finally the grand staircase continues down to the Dining Room.

The coffee shop is on the courtyard level of the Chateau. It was added in 1937 and retains it's original look. The waiter talking with Julie is Paul, one of the friendly employees at the Chateau (at least he worked there back in 2004 when this photo was taken.)  He's probably asking why her nutty husband is taking so many photos!

This photo shows the large mirror behind the counter in the Coffee Shop. The walls are paneled with knotty pine, the counter tops are birch and maple.


The coffee shop windows look out on the courtyard and Trout Pond.

Coffee shop chair detail.

The dining room windows look out over the canyon below the Chateau. The windows are 3 floors above the creek bed.

A small portion of the creek water is routed through a rock channel in the floor of the dining room.

The courtyard level of the hotel is where the kitchen, coffee shop and dining room are located.  Below it there are 2 levels of "basements". The upper basement level contains an employee dining area, 3 rooms for employee housing, and storage space. The lower basement level is much smaller in size than the other floors and contains mechanical equipment.  Both basements are not fully underground, 3 sides of them are below ground but the 4th side facing the creek downstream is above ground.  I don't have any pictures of either basement, they are not open to the public.

The Flood of 64:

As previously mentioned, the Chateau building spans Cave Creek like a dam. Normally the flow of water in the creek is minimal, the water flows into a large pipe which carries it from upstream under the Chalet and Chateau buildings, releasing the water back into the creek just below the footings of the Chateau.  During the winter of 1964 Southern Oregon was hit with a series of huge storms leaving a deep snow pack at Oregon Caves. On December 22 of that year a warm rain caused a sudden snow melt and a flash flood roared down Cave Creek. The pipes under the Chalet and Chateau buildings could not contain the water. Mud, rocks and debris surged through a breezeway of the Chalet, and poured down into the Chateau where it became trapped.  The Chateau started filling with water.  The building started to groan and shift as the floors began to give way under the weight of the water. Winter managers Bob Hines and Harry Christiansen were in the Chalet at the time, and saw the wall of water rush past them and flow straight into the Chateau. At the risk of their lives, they waded into the Chateau dining room, where they smashed out the plate glass windows, allowing the water to flow out, and saving the building. However major damage resulted to the building, some of it still apparent during our visit in 2004.  (I'm not sure if the proposed 2018 remodel of the Chateau will "fix" the damage, so if you visit after 2018 all this may be repaired!)

Did you notice the "out of place" looking steel pole in the middle of the coffee shop?  The steel pole was added after the building was damaged in the floods of 1964.

No, this photo of a hallway on the 1st floor is not distorted. The top of the walls lean very noticeably to the right due to damage from the flood in 1964, when the building walls shifted due to the enormous weight of the water that filled much of the floor below this one. If you want to see this leaning corridor go to the Chateau's main lobby on the 1st floor. On the side of the lobby opposite where the fireplace is you will see a short flight of stairs leading to a hallway.  Go up the short flight of stairs, walk to the end of the corridor, and that's where this photo was taken.

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