Museum of Western Colorado, C.D. Smith Wing

Grand Junction, Colorado

Built in 1935, this 36,000 sf, three-story, concrete frame warehouse was converted to an environmentally-controlled exhibit area on the main level and collection storage space in the basement. The second floor includes offices and a research library.

The 125-foot tall Observation Tower addition is accessible by stairs, and also houses the elevator access to the Museum. The elevator shaft stops one floor short of the observation deck so that the 360 degree view is uncompromised.

Persons with disabilities ride a glass-walled lift attached to the side of the Tower to access the final level. The observation deck is cantilevered beyond the structure and protects the faint hearted with large interpretive panels delineating the landmarks in the view below.