Log Skyscrapers

Building Location: 

208 Lambert Street North Half of Lot

Whitehorse, YT

Location Context: 

Two log dwellings stood beside the skyscrapers until they were removed to make way for the construction of the office building located on the corner of Second Avenue and Lambert. That site is now a parking lot. Refer to Berrigan Cabins, and Mah Bing Cabin. Berrigan built all five buildings located within the first two blocks of Lambert Street


Three-storey Log Structure

Architectural History: 

The three storey log structure was made of 9-inch diameter logs built upon 12-inch diameter base logs serving as footing beams. The floor plan is 16′ by 16′ and the total height is 58 logs. The rafters and ridge are log beams. 

In 1964 electricity and plumbing was added to the structure followed by drywalling and a new concrete foundation in 1971.

Cultural History: 

This site was once the location of Roland Ryder’s house, stables, and vegetable garden. Ryder operated a water delivery business and kept his horses at this site. 

The skyscrapers were built by Martin Berrigan in 1947. Berrigan moved to Whitehorse in 1939 after spending time working on the dredges in Dawson. He is quoted as having said “Life is too short to allow for getting sick, so I started building cabins for rent.” This log cabin was the last of many built by Berrigan. He began with several one-storey log dwellings at a time when Whitehorse was experiencing a shortage of accommodation due to wartime construction. Three of these cabins are located in the first block of Lambert Street. This three storey structure was built of logs which Berrigan cut from the east bank of the Yukon River and skidded to the location with a horse team. In the late 1970’s, the Skyscrapers were in danger of demolition when the lot was put up for sale; however, the demolition was not carried out and a new owner was found.