Buckey O’Neill Cabin Preservation
Grand Canyon Village, Ariz.
Award of Merit

Owner/Developer: Xanterra
Lead Design Firm: Page & Turnbull
General Contractor: Loven Contracting
Historical Architect: U.S. National Park Service
Painting/Finishes: BZ Painting

Built in 1890 near the rim of the Grand Canyon, the Buckey O’Neill Cabin is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. When renovation began, the cabin had already been damaged by water, insect infestation, poor drainage, a deteriorating roof and the absence of eaves, gutters and downspouts. Also, latex paint that was inappropriate for long-term restoration covered nearly all the exterior surfaces.

The renovation team, which included a historical architect, worked to return the cabin to its 1935 appearance and ensure its integrity for the next 129 years and beyond, while also adhering to National Park Service Historic Preservation guidelines.

The first step was determining the cabin’s original 1935 condition in order to match materials and finishes. The work was conducted through the cooperative efforts of Craig Chenevert, historical architect at the National Park Service; Page & Turnbull, the architect of record; and Susan Buck, a conservator and paint analyst. The team identified unique details in the finishes, including a chinking and daubing technique, the roof shingle pattern, original exposure of the stone foundation and appropriate windows, doors and frames. As construction began, the Loven Contracting carpentry team relied on historic images to accurately disassemble and reassemble the structure and to modify contemporary tools to replicate marks made by the original builder on in-kind replacement materials.

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