Far View Visitor Center

Year Listed: 2023
County: Montezuma
Construction Date: 1967-1968
Threat When Listed: Abandoned, Lack of Resources

The unique “Mission 66” mid-century modern Far View Visitor Center at Mesa Verde National Park has been mothballed, vacant, and subject to the purview of changing park superintendents over time. The building is in excellent condition, retains its historic character and features, and is ripe for a partnership with other entities who could help adaptively reuse it in ways that complement the mission of the National Park Service (NPS). The unique, circular form building was designed by Denver architects Joseph and Louise Marlow in 1967-68 and has been determined to be a good candidate for possible National Historic Landmark (NHL) status.

“During our site visit … a number of people took the time to park their cars about a quarter mile away and walk through the underpass to reach the building and stand on the outside deck to take in the magnificent views.” – Jill Seyfarth, CPI Reviewer 

The Far View Visitor Center sits within the Far View complex at Mesa Verde National Park and overlooks the canyons, mesas, and topographic landmarks that are significant to the native cultures of the region. As part of the Mission 66 Program, the Park Service developed and introduced the building typology of the “visitor center” to provide orientation and relevant interpretation distinctively related to its home park. The future of the Far View Visitor Center has essentially remained in limbo since the opening of a new Visitor Center in 2014. 

By listing the Far View Visitor Center as one of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places, CPI hopes to spur action by the NPS to begin a formal process to explore adaptive reuse options for this one-of-a-kind former visitor center. 

Video courtesy of CBS4
Additional Links:
Mission 66
Mesa Verde National Park