Old Faithful Visitor Education Center
The NPS proposes to build a new visitor education center at Old Faithful to replace the current inadequate visitor center. More than 3 million visitors come to Yellowstone each year, and most (approximately 85 percent) visit the Old Faithful area. The need for information, orientation, and educational services at Old Faithful is considerable. Yet those needs are not being met, and the visitor experience is marred by the current visitor center, which is too small to accommodate the nearly 25,000 daily visitors to the Old Faithful area during the summer and has no space for interpretive exhibits. Visitors leave the Old Faithful area without a basic understanding of or appreciation for the complexity and interconnected nature of the geysers they see and the volcanic activity that defines Yellowstone National Park.
The project’s objectives are to construct a new visitor education center in order to provide the
critical information necessary for park visitors to have safe, enjoyable, and satisfying experiences and to enhance their understanding and appreciation of park resources and values. Additional objectives include consolidating all appropriate services (e.g., bookstore, classroom, research library) and offices (e.g., backcountry office, administrative offices) into one location in order to better serve visitors; to provide a facility that is fully accessible to both visitors and employees and corrects or eliminates existing health and safety issues; and to ensure that the facility is constructed in a manner that fits the environmental conditions and is sustainable and efficient in
Finally, an important objective is to ensure that the primary visitor contact center in
Yellowstone is designed to be compatible with the signature “parkitecture” architectural style of the Old Faithful Historic District.