Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Watchtower - Grand Canyon

The Watchtower at Desert View is quite an interesting place to visit and holds some spectacular views of Grand Canyon and the Colorado River.

The Watchtower was built in 1932 primarily as an observation station and convenient rest stop. It was also built with the intention to help others understand the American Indian and his life in the past and present better. It was built by the Fred Harvey Company and Santa Fe Railroad, with Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter as the architect. I found that it having a female architect in the 1930s to be quite impressive. It was built as a re-creation of the strange prehistoric towers that were found scattered over large areas of the Southwest.

Once you enter the Watchtower, the large circular View Room you first enter represents the Kiva (Sacred Ceremonial Chamber) that was often built with ancient towers. Inside the Watchtower and the Kiva is a beautiful record of Indian art that was collected from various sources.

The walls and even the ceilings were decorated, multiple levels.

The views from the observation room were amazing. They even provided binoculars so you could get an even better view of the surrounding area and the Colorado River.

View from the window

Great view!

The Watchtower was a nice stop for us, exposing the kids to even more amazing views of Grand Canyon and the Colorado River, as well as exposure to some more Indian culture and the history of the area.

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