You might be much less prone to encounter an A-frame in Whistler in the present day than you’ll have been a number of a long time in the past. Nonetheless, the as soon as widespread construction can nonetheless be noticed within the previous neighborhoods of Whistler and is discovered in lots of pictures of Whistler’s hill station previous within the archival collections of the Whistler Museum.
Whereas A-frames have traditionally been used for quite a lot of functions world wide, the A-frame didn’t turn into widespread in North America till after World Battle II. Finally it turned a well-liked trip dwelling for rich middle-class households, particularly within the mountains. A-frames have been comparatively easy to construct and have been quickly accessible as pre-made kits. This recognition continued into the Nineteen Sixties when Whistler Mountain was first developed as a ski resort. It is no shock, then, that A-frames began popping up throughout the area quickly after growth started.
Among the A-frames in-built Whistler on the time have been constructed proper on the foot of the Whistler Mountain ski lifts, together with the Whistler Skiers’ Chapel, the primary interfaith chapel in Canada. The Whistler Skiers’ Chapel was in-built 1966 after the primary shortened ski season on Mount Whistler. He was impressed by the recollections of the founder and president of the Garibaldi Raise Firm, Franz Wilhelmsen, who recalled the small chapels of the ski villages in Norway the place he had skied as a toddler.
The raise firm donated land close to the bottom of the gondola and the A-frame design for the chapel was supplied freed from cost by Asbjorn Gathe. Like Wilhelmsen, Gathe was born in Norway. He studied structure on the Federal Polytechnic College of the College of Zurich, then immigrated to Vancouver in 1951, the place he labored as an architect. The chapel was simply identifiable on the base of the gondola because of each its A-frame construction and its stained glass home windows designed by Donald Babcock.
In 1966, the raise firm additionally constructed two A-frames on the base of the gondola to function employees lodging for its managers and their households (on the time, the Vibrant and Mathews households). The homes have been positioned straight on the hill, and Lynn Mathews, whose husband Dave was operations supervisor, recalled that their A-frame had 17 steps to the deck in summer time however solely three in winter when snow piled up round of them.
A-frames have been additionally widespread away from the bottom of the gondola. When Don and Isobel MacLaurin constructed what was then their trip dwelling within the Nineteen Sixties, they opted to construct an A-frame body themselves with assist from native residents resembling Murray Coates and Ron Mackie and beams from a 1915 schoolhouse in Squamish that was being demolished. Likewise, when Paul and Jane Burrows moved to Whistler full-time within the Seventies, they determined to construct an A-frame at Alpine Meadows. Like many A-frame homes in Whistler, these A-frames and the Whistler Mountain Managers’ Homes later had extensions added, altering the form of the A-frame.
These are just some of the A-frames represented within the museum’s collections, and though they now not fairly resemble the basic A-frame, a few of them are nonetheless in Whistler in the present day.