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For the past three years, visitors to Dinosaur National Monument, which straddles the border of Utah and Colorado, have been unable to enter one of the parkís top attractions: the Quarry Visitor Center.
Designed by the San Francisco firm of Anshen and Allen and completed in 1958, the Modernist structure features a round concrete-block administrative building with a sinuous ramp leading to a glass-walled exhibit hall, which contains a quarry of Jurassic-period dinosaur bones and other fossils. But the visitor center was built on unstable bentonite clay, causing it to shift and sway. Photographs on the monumentís Web site show uneven door frames, cracked exterior walls, and detached support columns. In 2006, structural engineers deemed the landmark unsafe and recommended that it be closed.
Now, due in part to $13.1 million in federal stimulus funds, portions of the visitor center will be demolished and a new building, designed by Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture, of Denver, will be constructed nearby. Another Colorado firm, Andrews & Anderson Architects, of Golden, will renovate and reinforce the exhibit hall, with its distinctive butterfly roof, that encloses the quarry.