Monday, April 17, 2006


Now They've Done It!
Old Faithful To Be Dwarfed


Remember this view. Soon there will be shadows from towering spires to compete with the viewscape at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park..

The architects at CTA have finally gotten their way. Expansive glass, a soaring tower, some cute angles and nooks, and a building full of philosophy is the final design of the visitor center. The 10 year design process has produced one more step in the evolution of "PARKITRCTURE."

The glowing remarks of the designers leave little doubt that this building will be be the main attraction at Old Faithful. This building with it's exposed steel beams and acres of glass is designed as a monument to the early 21st century vision that only "Tame Parks" have value. Viewing Old Faithful will now be so easy that only a short stroll to the observation deck will be required. The footprint of this thing is larger than the geyser cones of Castle, Grotto, Beehive, and Old Faithful - combined.

The park planners and the Yellowstone Park Foundation have given us an eyesore that impacts the parkscape far more than diesel motor homes, loud motorcycles, or snowmobiles ever could.

This monument to vanity will persist long after the noxious fumes of motor vehicles have been cleaned up. With movie theaters, trinket shops, book stores, and other accoutrements of crass capitalism at it's core. This center is sure to become a bigger attraction than the geyser basin that it will dwarf. Of course that is just what the donors want - immortality - for at least 30 years. By then, perhaps the NPS will begin to understand that a geological wonder is more important than an architectural monument.

Is Disney really behind the "NEW PARK?"
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