Beaver Meadows Visitor Center
Location: Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado (Moraine Ave. / Park Entrance Rd.)
When to visit: Open 9 am – 4:30 pm daily
Time needed: 15-30 minutes
Looking for some Frank Lloyd Wright Colorado structures? This is the closest thing you’re going to find! It’s not a house, but a visitor center. And it wasn’t designed by Wright personally, but rather by his firm, using his signature style.
You don’t normally expect to see buildings of architectural significance in national parks, but Rocky Mountain National Park has such a 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.
So while he didn’t personally design this center, his fingerprints are all over it. His team did an excellent job capturing his style and bringing a Frank Lloyd Wright building to Colorado!
The Frank Lloyd Wright Colorado Visitor Center Design
This visitor center is immediately recognizable as a building associated with Frank Lloyd Wright. The center bears Wright’s style of eye-popping angles and creative use of lines and shapes.
The building utilizes a lot of triangular geometric elements. 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.
Look how cool the views are peering out of the center at the nearby mountain, with the view framed by the triangles and angled lines.
This obviously does not look like the normal boring visitor centers that you see in most parks.
Because of its connection to Wright, the site is designated as a National Historic Landmark. You can read all about the Frank Lloyd Wright connection on the informational board outside the building.
Inside the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, you’ll find the usual amenities you’d expect: a gift shop (the Rocky Mountain Conservancy Nature Store), flushing toilets, park maps, and rangers who can answer your park questions.
The center used to be open from 8 am to 4:30 pm, but currently its hours have been cut back, and it now opens at 9 am daily.
The toll booth for payment to enter Rocky Mountain National Park comes after the visitor center, so if for some reason you want to see the Frank Lloyd Wright building without paying to enter the park, you can do that.
Find it on US Highway 36, west of Estes Park. Don’t miss this quirky building if you visit the Rocky Mountains!
If you’re in search of more Frank Lloyd Wright Colorado buildings, there unfortunately aren’t any. Here’s the full list of Wright’s works. You can sort by state.
While Colorado doesn’t have any on the list, lots of states all around the country do. It’s amazing that his works are featured in states from Delaware to Idaho to Arizona to Mississippi to Oregon. But somehow nothing else in Colorado!
The majority of Wright’s works are in Illinois, the state where he lived and work. There’s also Fallingwater, the famous house in the woods in western Pennsylvania.
While you’re exploring the area, make sure to look for the bighorn sheep in Rocky Mountain National Park. And drive over 12,000 feet elevation to check out Forest Canyon Overlook.
Would you like to visit the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center to see a Frank Lloyd Wright-style Colorado building?