West Virginia Department of Commerce Lodge Architecture in West Virginia State Parks

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Lodge Architecture in West Virginia State Parks

In 1967, Walter Gropius, the father of modern architecture, led The Architects Collaborative (TAC) in the design of the lodges at Twin Falls Resort, Hawks Nest and Pipestem Resort state parks. Gropius and TAC’s methods remove complicated features from structural designs, simplifying the building process. This architectural framework encourages interaction with nature and reflects the rustic flavor of park design.

Twin Falls Resort Lodge

Twin Falls Resort State Park

In the heart of Wyoming County, Twin Falls Resort State Park offers majestic mountain views, modern resort facilities and a glimpse into the pioneer days of the 19th century.

The conversion of the area into a 3,776-acre state park began in 1964, when Western Pocahontas Corporation and Pocahontas Land Corporation gave the state of West Virginia a “gift of land” to develop a state park. Funding for development was made available in 1963 under the Area Redevelopment Administration.

The golf course was open to the public during the fall of 1967 and in 1968 construction began on the lodge complex, pro shop/swimming pool complex and cabins. The pro shop complex and cabins were completed in the spring of 1970 and opened to the public on June 26, 1970. The park’s initial facilities included a 20-room lodge, with restaurant and gift shop, 13 deluxe vacation cabins, and a nine-hole golf course with pro-shop, which included an outdoor swimming pool.

In the early 1970s work began on a campground and picnic areas. The 50-site campground opened in 1975.

Hawks Nest Resort Lodge

Hawks Nest State Park

Land for Hawks Nest State Park was purchased in 1935 when the state purchased the land around the now well-known overlook. Much of the early planning for the park was done by the National Park Service. The stonework that one sees today was the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was stationed at nearby Babcock State Park at Clifftop. They built the picnic shelter, snack and souvenir shop, restrooms, and numerous stone walls within the park.

In 1963 the DNR’s Parks Division had the opportunity to further develop some of West Virginia’s scenic natural resources by entering into a loan/grant agreement with the United States Area Redevelopment Administration. Land was purchased and leased for the building of Hawks Nest lodge. The modern 31-room lodge and conference complex was designed by The Architect’s Collaborative, a Walter Gropius firm of Boston, Mass. It was completed and opened to the public in the spring of 1967.

Pipestem Resort Lodge

Pipestem Resort
State Park

The development of a state park in the Pipestem area came about for several reasons. During the early 1960s, the federal government offered financial assistance to West Virginia to promote economic development in areas of low employment. The priceless beauty of the Bluestone Gorge area resulted in the development of the resort as an employment opportunity for local residents while offering scenic vistas and recreational opportunities for tourists.

By 1971, 25 modern cottages, two lodges with a total of 143 rooms, 27 holes of golf, pro shops, tennis courts, a 50-site campground and an aerial tramway, miniature golf course, riding stables, 16-acre lake, indoor and outdoor pools, a 500 seat amphitheater, meeting rooms, gift and craft shops, two restaurants, a cafeteria, a supper club, and three snack bars were completed and open to the public. The official opening was Memorial Day, 1970.
Where People and Nature Meet, A History of West Virginia State Parks