Quarry Visitor Center

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Quarry Visitor Center
Dinosaur Quarry VC NPS1.jpg
Dinosaur Quarry visitor center prior to 2009
Quarry Visitor Center is located in Utah
Quarry Visitor Center
Quarry Visitor Center is located in the US
Quarry Visitor Center
Location US 40, Dinosaur National Monument, Utah
Coordinates 40°26′26″N 109°18′4″W / 40.44056°N 109.30111°W / 40.44056; -109.30111Coordinates: 40°26′26″N 109°18′4″W / 40.44056°N 109.30111°W / 40.44056; -109.30111
Architect Anshen & Allen; Richard Hein
Architectural style Other
MPS Dinosaur National Monument MRA
NRHP Reference # 86003401
Significant dates
Added to NRHP December 19, 1986[1]
Designated NHL January 3, 2001[2]

Quarry Visitor Center, in Dinosaur National Monument in Utah was built as part of the National Park Service's Mission 66 program of modern architectural design in the US national parks. This visitor center exemplifies the philosophy of locating visitor facilities immediately at the resource being interpreted. The visitor center was closed in 2006 due to structural damage from unstable soils. The rotunda structure is being demolished and replaced with a new structure of different design, while the quarry section is being stabilized and repaired.[3][4]


The visitor center was built in part to attract visitors to the little-visited monument, which had been threatened with flooding by the Echo Park Dam, as a means of guarding against renewed reservoir proposals.[5][6] The visitor center's concept was first expressed in 1916 when George Otis Smith, the director of the U.S. Geological Survey, suggested that the specimens be displayed in the northern canyon wall. Local citizens, including the dinosaur quarry's discoverer Earl Douglass, proposed a skylit shelter for the display. A temporary shelter for the bones and their excavators was finally built in 1936. A preliminary design in January 1937 was produced by a group including the Park Service Western Office of Design and Construction, the American Museum of Natural History and the directorate of the Park Service that closely resembled the eventual design by Anshen and Allen. A number of succeeding designs followed, becoming more elaborate and departing from this concept. No funding emerged for the design, but a new wood and corrugated sheet metal shelter was built in 1951, reminiscent of the 1916 proposal.[7]

The Quarry Visitor Center was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2001.[2][8]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b "Quarry Visitor Center". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  3. ^ "Quarry Construction Background". National Park Service. Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  4. ^ Hill, David (June 2, 2009). "Wrecking Ball to Swing on "Mission 66" Visitor Center". Architectural Record. Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Sellars, Richard West. "Chapter 5: The War and Postwar Years, 1940-1963". Preserving History in the National Parks: A History. Yale University Press. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Allaback, Sarah. "Quarry Visitor Center". Mission 66 Visitor Centers. National Park Service. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  7. ^ Allaback. "Quarry Visitor Center". p. 2. 
  8. ^ Sarah Allaback; Ethan Carr & John H. Sprinkle, Jr. (September 1, 2000). "National Historic Landmark Nomination: Quarry Visitor Center" (pdf). National Park Service.  and Accompanying seven images, from 1958 and 1999 and undated plan PDF (32 KB)

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