Posts Tagged ‘arizona national parks’

Watchtower, Desert View

March 5th, 2015 by Del & Sheryl Terry

Desert View Watchtower,

is one of the most prominent architectural features on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The watchtower is located at the Easternmost view point once you enter the Park on Hwy 64 coming from the Navajo community of Cameron on Hwy 89. From a distance, the building’s silhouette looks like the Anasazi watchtower of which it was meant to imitate.

File:Yavapai Observation Station.jpgDesert View Watchtower, Grand Canyon

The watchtower was designed by the renowned early 20th century architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter in collaboration with some of the renowned Hopi artisans of the day.  The original steel and concrete structure of the observation level is hidden from sight behind plaster, stone and wood. Murals by well-known Hope artist Fred Kabotie are featured prominently on the second level of the circular stairwell. The main space is the Kiva Room in the base structure, apparently roofed with logs that were salvaged from the old Grandview Hotel. The Watchtower is part of the Desert View Watchtower Historic District, which includes a number of support structures built and used by the Fred Harvey Company. Later used by the National Park Service, the Desert View Watchtower was designated a United States National Historic Landmark in May 28, 1987 as a collective nomination.

Desert View Watchtower, Grand Canyon National Park  From the top floor of the tower, you may see the varied colors of the Painted Desert and the Navajo Nation (the largest Native American reservation in the US) to the East, and the confluence of the Little Colorado River and the Colorado River to the North.  Access from balcony to balcony is provided by small accessible stairways and to the West you can see the majesty and beauty of the 13 mile wide Grand Canyon. The tower rises as an open shaft lined by circular balconies overlooking the central space whose engineering was provided by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway.


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