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The Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta


The Prince of Wales Hotel is located in Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada    

The Prince of Wales Hotel was built as an extension to the chain of hotels and chalets built and operated by the Great Northern Railway in Glacier National Park, Montana. Louis Hill, President of the Great Northern Railroad, picked the site for the hotel in 1912. It took until 1926 to get the land leased from the Canadian Government and construction began immediately thereafter.

   

 
When Mr. Hill decided to build the hotel, he planned for a building somewhat like the Many Glacier Hotel in Montana. The original plan called for a long three-storied, low roofed building with a central lobby and approximately 300 rooms. As the building progressed, Mr. Hill changed his mind several times so that some parts of the building had to be rebuilt four times. He wanted the building to resemble French or Swiss chalets. Hill's final vision came to be and today stands a proud hotel overlooking the township of Waterton, complete with 86 rooms in seven-stories and is crowned with a 30-foot bell tower.

   Prince of Wales Hotel Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton Lakes National Park
      
The originally exposed stone walls of the first floor are now finished with off-white stucco. The upper stories are finished with wood clapboarding painted brown. Bands of painted wood decoration wrap around the structure and visually separate the different floor levels. The building's multiple balconies and verandas also contribute to the chalet feeling. On the east side of the building at the entrance, the posts edging the veranda and supporting the upper balcony are heavy milled timbers with bracket-type capitals. On the west side, the veranda facing the lake has log post-and-beam construction. The rustic feeling is reinforced by the bark that remains on the logs.
  
   Prince of Wales Hotel - Tea RoomWaterton Lakes National Park, Alberta

   

All materials and supplies for the construction were shipped via railway to Hill Spring and then transported the last 25 miles by mule team. During construction the building crew faced numerous obstacles including a spring thaw that turned the 25 miles of road into a muddy quagmire and high winds that blew the building off center twice. The fear of these high winds almost caused the project to be abandoned but construction finally proceeded and the building was completed and officially opened to the public on July 25, 1927.
  
Occasionally the building will sway slightly when the winds are heavy, but there is no danger because the building was constructed to withstand even the fiercest of gales. The building is anchored to its site by means of large cables installed from its loft, through the structure and into the ground itself.

The hotel is named after the Prince of Wales, the popular Prince Edward, who was later to become King Edward VIII. He was admired and adored worldwide, even after his abdication of the British Throne in 1936 when he chose to marry a commoner from America. The hotel was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1992 with Plaque status granted in 1995.
  

Prince of Wales Hotel
Box 33
Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta
T0K 2M0, Canada
Phone: (406)892-2525
Website: glacierparkinc.com/prince_of_wales.php











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