Binding People & Place / Building a Park


Postcard ("Oasis Headquarters")

ca. 1965

Historic postcards can document changes in buildings and landscapes over time. In the mid-20th century, the National Park Service embarked on a system wide program to modernize its infrastructure to address increased visitation while providing visual harmony with the natural environment.

The former visitor center, and many of Joshua Tree’s campground layouts and buildings like the Twentynine Palms administrative complex share this modernist architectural style intended to fit the built environment into the landscape. In this 1960s postcard, the boy in the red shirt is looking into a reflecting pool that has since been replaced with a cactus garden and large kinetic sculpture.

Paper. H 8.8, W 13.5 cm
Joshua Tree National Park, JOTR 25426

Image Rights and Usage


(Oasis of Mara Headquarters today)

Peri Sasnett

National Park Service photograph