Beaver Meadows Visitor Center
Location: Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado (Moraine Ave. / Park Entrance Rd.)
When to visit: Open 8 – 4:30 daily
Time needed to enjoy: 15-30 minutes
You don’t normally expect to see buildings of architectural significance in national parks, but Colorado has one such structure. The Rocky Mountain National Park Administration Building at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center was built in 1967 by Taliesin Associated Architects, a firm created by celebrated architect Frank Lloyd Wright to carry on his work after his death.
The center bears Wright’s style of eye-popping angles and creative use of lines and shapes. This building utilizes a lot of right angles and its sandstone exterior is surrounded by pine trees, lichens and bushes so it blends into the natural scenery of the park. The designers also chose to use Cor-ten steel because the metal turns reddish-brown when it rusts, which again fits in with the surrounding landscape. Because of its connection to Wright, the site is designated as a National Historic Landmark.
The toll booth for payment to enter Rocky Mountain National Park comes after the visitor center itself, so if for some reason you want to see the Frank Lloyd Wright building without paying to enter the park, you can do that. Don’t miss this quirky building if you visit the Rocky Mountains!