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kiliki
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kiliki
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PostFri Feb 03, 2023 4:30 pm 
This is a new issue to me and I'm a little shaky on the details, but apparently the Thunderbird Lodge at Summit West is slated for demolition. I can't even picture it--I haven't been to Summit West in years. I hesitate to have much of an opinion without knowing more, but it does seem like a shame that a building designed by noted mid-century architects won't remain. Especially since that style has really come back, and the Summit has proposed a mountain top restaurant elsewhere. This is from the Facebook group "Seattle Mid Century Modern Home Owners and Enthusiasts. https://www.facebook.com/groups/102235716139

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Randito
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PostFri Feb 03, 2023 5:06 pm 
Yeah, it's health permit wasn't renewed as the building doesn't have running water. Lack of bathrooms and handwashing facilities puts a crimp of running a restaurant. The building has been used as cell phone / communications equipment building for decades. I'm sure the equipment in the building in now obsolete analog/ 2g / 3g technology and the cell companies probably didn't want to renew a lease. In the Summitís 2030 plans, a renovation of the Thunderbird isn't mentioned, but replacement of Summit Central main lodge is. https://summitatsnoqualmie.com/summit-2030 https://snoqualmie-pass.fandom.com/wiki/Thunderbird_Restaurant

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kiliki
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PostFri Feb 03, 2023 7:42 pm 
How did they ever run a restaurant that didn't have running water?

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Randito
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PostFri Feb 03, 2023 9:01 pm 
IDK, I do recall that one of the "chairs" on the original Thunderbird chairlift was a cargo carrier.

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Bruce Albert
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PostSat Feb 04, 2023 11:06 am 
Thunderbird chair and restaurant around 1966 or so. I remember thinking I was some kind of big deal the first time I rode that chair. A Thunderbird chair and grip are featured in my backyard boneyard, too historically valuable to cut up for yard furniture. Talking with Summit people at various seminars it sounded like the conversion to cell sites was a win for them as they were making piles of $$ off the cell site. I think the Summit House at Crystal did not having running water either for many years; now I believe they have horizontal wells up there somewhere. We don't do nearly enough to take care of and preserve structures in this country...build it, use it, suck the marrow out and rip it down...all based on financials. I really think that's a shame.

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kiliki
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PostSat Feb 04, 2023 12:00 pm 
Those are neat photos. Thanks for sharing.

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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Feb 04, 2023 1:27 pm 
Kind of like the old single chair, I only rode once.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Randito
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PostSat Feb 04, 2023 4:04 pm 
Malachai Constant wrote:
Kind of like the old single chair, I only rode once.
The Single at Ski Arces was the 1st chairlift in the state 1948, with the Thunderbird chair following in 1954. I was a "ski school brat" at Ski Acres (my dad was an instructor) I was maybe 7 or 8 the 1st time I rode the single chair. I started skiing at 4 1/2 on the series of three rope tows about where the Holiday chair is now at Summit Central. The was also a T-bar that loaded where the Galley chair loads, the T-bar unloaded a little above where Holiday now unloads. Those days were different. I recall my dad spending one morning teaching me to ski and then telling me to ski with my older sisters so he could teach. My sisters promptly ditched me. I guess parents of those days figured the lifties would look out for the kids. We skied all over the 3 summit ski areas , as kids were got good at crossing over and poaching rides at Snoqualmie Summit and Hyak, even though we only had tickets for Ski Acres. Alpental would involve driving, harder preteens to manage.

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Bruce Albert
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PostSat Feb 04, 2023 9:55 pm 
Randito wrote:
I was a "ski school brat" at Ski Acres (my dad was an instructor) I was maybe 7 or 8 the 1st time I rode the single chair. I started skiing at 4 1/2 on the series of three rope tows about where the Holiday chair is now at Summit Central. The was also a T-bar that loaded where the Galley chair loads, the T-bar unloaded a little above where Holiday now unloads.
Oh boy, how many bajillions of boomer kids lived the ski bus/ski school experience? Wood skis, cable bindings, lace up boots, getting your stuff on going through the snowshed so you were ready to hit the ground running on arrival, the walk along the highway past hundreds of idling turtle back buses in a thick blue cloud of diesel exhaust, the incessant yodeling music coming over the loudspeaker, charging all over the hill with your friends in pursuit of whatever adventure might be conjured up, riding the Poma because it was faster and a buck cheaper than the chair, and then the social scene on the ride down past the light in North Bend and the RR crossing in Issaquah where the bus had to stop...with the bigger kids sneaking cigarettes or making out in the back....then to endure a week of school before we could go back and do it all over again.

vogtski, hikerbiker, snowmonkey, kiliki, RichP
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NightOwl
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PostMon Feb 06, 2023 5:08 am 
Bruce Albert wrote:
We don't do nearly enough to take care of and preserve structures in this country...build it, use it, suck the marrow out and rip it down...all based on financials. I really think that's a shame.
Destruction of history and monetization of everything has been the American Way since the first crazies from across the ocean showed up. America will monetize its own destruction at some point. And that won't be a shame, but karma, imo.

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Randito
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PostMon Feb 06, 2023 10:24 am 
I think it's humorous to wax nostalgic about a structure the was built with rapid and inexpensive construction as the primary design goals.

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kiliki
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PostMon Feb 06, 2023 12:30 pm 
Randito wrote:
I think it's humorous to wax nostalgic about a structure the was built with rapid and inexpensive construction as the primary design goals.
Preservation would be a dubious enterprise if it were limited to the grandest and most expensive to build buildings. Rapid and inexpensive construction was the name of the game in the mid-20th century. New materials and technologies were needed for a rapidly growing and developing nation. It's not my favorite architecture by a long shot, but I understand why people might be nostalgic for certain buildings, and we can certainly still consider some significant for historical associations (not saying the Thunderbird is).

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Bruce Albert
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PostMon Feb 06, 2023 6:26 pm 
Randito wrote:
I think it's humorous to wax nostalgic about a structure the was built with rapid and inexpensive construction as the primary design goals.
Nostalgia aside, my broader point is that the build it use it abandon it and demolish it ethic is...wasteful...compared to a value system where things are cared for and adapted to different uses over time. Before my stint in the ski industry I spent many years tearing things down. Not houses, but big things: bridges, piers, factories, whole blocks downtown, that sort of thing. Our industrial customers used things until they were totally worn or rusted out. The government was a mixed bag. But the private customers tended by and large towards having things torn out simply because they wanted to do something else different in a space where the financial reality was that it was more economical and acceptable to demolish and replace than to maintain and adapt for newer uses. The waste was phenomenal and heartbreaking: Whole forests of the most beautiful Doug fir lumber imaginable were ground to toothpicks and splinters and deposited, many hundreds of loads per day, up there under the Newcastle Golf Course on the east side. Those forests took hundreds upon hundreds of years to grow, were logged, milled, and used in buildings for maybe, what, a hundred years, and then hauled off to the dump because economics, the almighty buck, dictated that fate. Back to the Thunderbird, 50's architecture is what one may think of it, but it's been there what, maybe 60 years or so, and maintenance, or lack of it, is what could make it endure longer or not.

kiliki
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trestle
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PostThu Feb 23, 2023 9:41 am 
kiliki wrote:
How did they ever run a restaurant that didn't have running water?
It was an all hands on deck affair. They used the lift, snowcats, and snowmobiles to keep it supplied and water use was minimized. Despite this they were able to host occasional events and served delicacies such as boeuf fondue. From Images of America: Snoqualmie Pass: The menu at the Thunderbird Restaurant included an alpine breakfast, "Thunderburgers" and "Snoqualmie Deep Dish Apple Pie" among other items. A popular selection was the boeuf fondue, which was also served at the Continental Restaurant in the Alpen Haus Lodge. Faced with the problem of no running water in the Thunderbird Restaurant, the Moffetts searched for food that could easily be served on disposable plates. We studied it a bit in the Ski Area Management (RIP) program at WVC.

"Life favors the prepared." - Edna Mode
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Randito
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PostThu Feb 23, 2023 7:19 pm 
FWIW: I was skiing with my wife at Summit West yesterday and we rode the Wildside chair several times. The Thunderbird lodge is in very decrepit shape. Most of the window panels have been replaced with plywood, the few remainung ones with glass, the panes are mostly broken. The paint is peeling and there are some good sized gaps in the siding due to rot. Didn't think to take a picture. Would have been nice if it was still operational and to have ducked in for some cocoa and to enjoy the view of Guye Peak and Snoqualmie Mtn while sitting by the fire.

trestle
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