Petrified Forest Complex Named National Historic Landmark

The Painted Desert Community Complex serves as Petrified Forest National Park's headquarters. | Courtesy of National Park Service

The federal Department of the Interior named 24 new National Historic Landmarks this month, and one of them is right here in Arizona.

The Painted Desert Community Complex, located in Petrified Forest National Park (the subject of our February issue), became the 46th National Historic Landmark in Arizona on January 11. Several nonprofit groups worked with the Arizona State Historic Preservation office, a division of Arizona State Parks, to help secure the designation for the complex. Another Petrified Forest structure, the Painted Desert Inn, has been a National Historic Landmark since 1987.

The site's buildings were constructed in the early 1960s, as part of the Park Service's Mission 66 program to modernize park facilities, and now serve as the national park's headquarters. Designed by architects Richard J. Neutra and Robert E. Alexander, they're considered an excellent example of Modern architecture and a successful balancing of park needs and limited impacts to natural resources.

"We're excited to continue revitalizing Painted Desert's Modern legacy for future generations," said Juvenio Guerra, a spokesman for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, one of the advocates for the designation. "This recognition not only energizes our restoration efforts, but also serves as an example for the treatment of Mission 66 structures throughout the National Park Service."

To learn more about the designation and the complex, click here.


I am very proud of this Establishment. I have great memories of this place. I was born in Tucson,AZ 49 yrs ago this February. I love this state and all it has to offer~! I love learning about history of places like this~! Thank U Arizona Highways for this post~!

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