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Contact: Cristy Brown, 970-529-4608
Mesa Verde National Park invites the public to learn about the history and future of the Far View Visitor Center during a symposium on June 30, 2018. There will be a self-guided tour of the exterior of the building from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM, followed by presentations on the history of the building, challenges with its current condition, and a vision for possible adaptive reuse from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM in the Rec Hall building. Speakers include author and architectural historian Christine Madrid French; principal architect Jane Crisler of Form + Works Design Group; and Dr. Patrick Kociolek, the Director of the University of Colorado, Boulder’s Natural History Museum. After the presentations, the Mesa Verde Museum Association and the National Trust for Historic Preservation will host a reception at the Rec Hall. All events are free and open to the public.
Anyone who has driven through Mesa Verde National Park has likely noticed the odd, round building nestled into the hillside on Chapin Mesa. Denver architects, Joseph P. and Mary Louise Marlowe designed the Far View (Visitor) Center during the National Park Service’s “Mission 66” program. In 1968, construction was completed, and the building welcomed over a million visitors until 2013, when the Visitor and Research Center opened near the park entrance. In 2017, the Mesa Verde Museum Association received a State Historical Fund Grant from History Colorado to prepare a Historic Structures Report for the building. The park is looking for ways to reuse the building, including working with the Museum of Natural History at the University of Colorado Boulder, to create exhibits and educational programming.
For visitors planning to tour the exterior of the building, the Far View Visitor Center is located on the Main Park Road approximately 15 miles from the park entrance. Visitors should park in the lot on the north side of the road, then cross through the tunnel to the building. Remember that it takes about 30 minutes to get to the Far View Center building from the park entrance, and an additional 10 minutes to get to the Rec Hall building. To get to the Rec Hall building, follow the Main Park Road to Milepost 19, then turn right onto the service road. Follow the one-way loop around to the southernmost building in the compound. Maps will be available at the park entrance kiosk. Mark your calendar and plan to join us!