Great News from the Painted Desert!

November 25, 2015 by Kevin Sanada

Much to share from the Painted Desert! The past few weeks have been full of good news, representing the fantastic progress made at the Painted Desert. As the new year approaches, we look forward to continuing the momentum and great work in 2016!

American Express Gives $150,000 Grant Toward Storefront Restoration

First off, on November 9th, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced $1 million in funding to support the restoration and preservation of five National Treasure sites, in or adjacent to National Parks. A grant of $150,000 was awarded to the Painted Desert Community Complex to fund restoration of the original glass storefront of the Oasis Building. This section was removed and covered over decades ago, completely altering the original Neutra/Alexander design and blocking views from the original gift shop and diner.

Check out the full press release here.

Painted Desert Complex to be Nominated as National Historic Landmark

The Petrified Forest National Park and Heritage Partnerships Program, Intermountain Region, and National Park Service (NPS), have partnered on an effort to nominate Painted Desert Community Complex as a National Historic Landmark, the highest level of recognition for a historic place. Designed by nationally renowned California architects Richard Neutra and Robert Alexander, the Painted Desert Community Complex is also an outstanding example of the International style adopted by NPS during that time, and represents the agency’s use of private architects to promote the shift to modernism in the parks after World War II. NPS hired Front Range Research Associates, Inc. (FRRA) of Denver, Colo., to complete the nomination, which will likely be considered by the Landmarks Committee of the National Park System Advisory Board during its fall 2016 meeting.

A New Concessionaire for the Painted Desert

Finally, a new concessionaire has been selected, after more than two decades of working with Xanterra Parks. The new concessionaire is Ortega National Parks. The family owns and operates El Rancho Hotel in Gallup, and several businesses in both retail and food service on the square in Santa Fe. They also operate park concession contracts at other national park sites, including Carlsbad Caverns National Park and White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, Acadia National Park in Maine, and the Stovepipe Wells area of Death Valley National Park in California.

Join the movement to save and sustain historic African American places. The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund will help every American see themselves, their history, and their potential in our collective story and national cultural landscape.

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