In 1982 Paul built the largest and tallest timber frame hotel in the United States, The Austing Haus hotel in Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico. He also built the Columbine Inn, another timber frame hotel in the Taos Ski Valley and the Streamside Suites over the road from the Austing Haus. Paul’s culinary skills made the Austing Haus a sought after lodge for group travel where he offered fully inclusive packages of lodging and meals.
The Making of the Austing Haus
The idea of a timber-frame construction was brought to this country by the early European settlers. This style of building is not only structurally sound but is also aesthetically pleasing. Joinering is the dovetail, motise and tenon, scarf and shoulder mount, a pile of timbers can become a meaningful structure. The Austing Haus Hotel was built in this manner.
In 1982, construction began on the first floor rooms of the hotel. Ten thousand board feet of lumber was used. Fifteen thousand board feet of lumber was used in this phase of the construction. In 1984, the final and by far the largest phase of construction began. In order to add six hotel rooms, lobby, dining room and kitchen, 35,000 board feet of lumber was ordered from the Olguin Sawmill. The Olguin Sawmill is owned by a local Taos family, and they combed the forests looking for the largest Douglas Fir and Pine they could find. It took Paul Austing and Chuck Jeanette over one month to cut the twelve hundred and eighty-eight Mortise and Tenon interlocking joints. In the first two phases of construction, all the beams were raised by hand. Since the new addition would stand thirty-eight feet tall, a crane was used to raise the massive structure. Over 1600 oak pegs were used to hold the joints together. We hope you enjoy the beam works as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
Signed: Paul Austing