Lounging in the 60s


This online exhibit has sought to tell the stories of fourteen objects that helped facilitate visitors' experiences during the Mission 66 era.

By combining an in-depth analysis of the objects themselves with historical records linked throughout this exhibit, we can more clearly understand the ways Mission 66 initiatives left a lasting impact on Rocky Mountain National Park, and even more specifically, on the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. These objects present a physical link to decisions made by various members of the National Park Service administration and contemporary designers who helped revitalize the national parks to keep up with the modernizing nation.

Mission 66 core values are reflected in each object, from the smallest doorstop to the well-worn benches. The compromises made in order to design and acquire each object highlight that which was central to the implementation of Mission 66. In seeking to support the booming visitation in the parks, the NPS adopted the popular design aesthetic of the time by hiring Taliesin Associated Architects to design Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. While not every object so thoroughly represents the mid-century modern vision of Taliesin as well as the Two-Seat Oak Bench does, all of the objects in this exhibit combine to clearly show the visitor-centric design of Beaver Meadows.

While most visitors today can observe remnants of Mission 66 in Rocky Mountain National Park via the expanded roads and increased accessibility throughout the park, this online exhibit gives visitors a new way to experience the vibrant past of Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. 

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