Renovation & Addition
The Quarry Visitor Center was constructed in 1956/57 to provide visitor access and protection to, as well as interpretation of, “the greatest quarry of Jurassic dinosaurs in the world.” The building began experiencing foundation problems during its construction and continued to move over the 40-plus years since it was built—by as much as 17 inches in some places! Despite extensive repair work, the building continued to deteriorate, causing unsafe conditions and costly maintenance. The Quarry Visitor Center was closed on July 12, 2006 after a condition assessment identified some previously unknown life, safety and health hazards.
A pre-design and operational value analysis was conducted with park staff in 2005, which recommended rehabilitation of the exhibit hall portion covering the fossil wall, development of measures to ensure protection of the in-situ fossil resources on the quarry face during renovation work, demolition of failed portions of the existing building, and replacement of the south and administrative wings with a new visitor center facility.
The new visitor center was renovated and expanded to meet visitor needs no longer provided at the quarry site. The gateway building program includes lobby and ranger contact areas, an exhibit hall, and a multipurpose theater with extensive views to the south and of Green River Basin. The center is also the transit connection point, taking all visitors to the dinosaur quarry face via the park shuttle system.
The Quarry Visitor Center incorporates an integrated design approach that identifies energy efficiency as a driving factor, incorporating sustainability into the project wherever it can be shown to be life-cycle cost effective using a 40-year time horizon. Sustainable features include daylight controls, water reduction strategies, solar photovoltaic panels, and landscaping that restores original drainage ways and planting. The center achieved LEED® Gold certification for sustainable design and energy efficiency.