December 30, 2015

ARIZONA : Indian Watchtower at Desert View - Grand Canyon


The Desert View Watchtower



A snorkel lift was used to complete condition assessments prior to the renovations, 
and will be used again during the renovations, Grand Canyon Village, AZ (Oct/2010)

Desert View Watchtower in Grand Canyon National Park to Undergo Renovations 

National Park Service

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – Desert View Watchtower, one of the most prominent architectural features on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, is slated to undergo renovations over the next several months.

The Watchtower is located at Desert View, the eastern-most developed area on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Recognized as a National Historic Landmark, the tower was constructed in 1932. Architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter’s design takes its influences from the architecture of the ancestral Puebloan people of the Colorado Plateau. She collaborated on the design with Hope artisans of the day, including well-known Hopi artist Fred Kabotie whose murals adorn much of the second level of the tower.

Today, the 70-foot tower contains a gift store and its upper floors serve as observation decks where visitors from around the world enjoy magnificent views of the canyon and the Painted Desert. Seventy-eight years after it was constructed, the tower’s roof and windows leak and its mortar and many wood elements are deteriorating, threatening the integrity of the structure and damaging its famous murals. As a result, Xanterra South Rim, L.L.C.—the concessioner that manages the gift store and maintains the Watchtower—will be undertaking a two phase renovation project.

During the first phase of renovations, the tower’s roof will be replaced. Work on phase I of the project is expected to begin in mid- to late January. While visitors will have access to the interior of the tower throughout the renovations, it will be necessary to close the observation deck for approximately three weeks while the roof is being repaired. This closure is expected to occur beginning in mid-January. Work on the roofing project should be completed sometime in March.

Phase II of the renovations, will involve repairing, known as “pointing”, masonry mortar joints and repair or replacement of windows and exterior wood elements. During this phase of the renovations, access to portions of the exterior of the tower may need to be restricted in the immediate vicinity of heavy equipment and the ongoing repairs. Phase II of the project is expected to begin sometime in March.

D. L. Norton will be the General Contractor for the Watchtower renovations; and completion of the project is expected late in 2010.

Desert View Watchtower

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Desert View Watchtower, also known as the Indian Watchtower at Desert View, is a 70-foot (21 m)-high stone building located on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon within Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, United States. The tower is located at Desert View, more than 20 miles (32 km) to the east of the main developed area at Grand Canyon Village, toward the east entrance to the park. The four-story structure, completed in 1932, was designed by American architect Mary Colter, an employee of the Fred Harvey Company who also created and designed many other buildings in the Grand Canyon vicinity including Hermit's Rest and the Lookout Studio. The interior contains murals by Fred Kabotie.

Description
The watchtower was the last of the series of Mary Colter-designed visitor concession structures at the Grand Canyon until her renovation of the Bright Angel Lodge in 1935. The tower was designed to resemble an Ancient Pueblo Peoples watchtower, but its size dwarfs any known Pueblan-built tower. The closest prototypes for such a structure may be found at Hovenweep National Monument.The structure is composed of a circular coursed masonry tower rising from a rubble base. The base was intentionally designed to convey a partly ruinous appearance, perhaps of an older structure on which the watchtower was later built. The base is arranged within a large circle with the tower to the north. Tiny windows are irregularly disposed, some of which are themselves irregular in shape. The main space is the Kiva Room in the base structure, apparently roofed with logs that were salvaged from the old Grandview Hotel. The ceiling is a false structure concealing the roof structure that supports an observation deck. The Kiva Room features a fireplace with a large picture window directly above where the chimney would ordinarily go. Smoke is drawn away through an offset, concealed flue. The room still contains its original furnishings, which are part of the historic designation. A separate, apparently ruinous structure was actually built in that form to provide a storage place for firewood.

The tower rises as an open shaft lined by circular balconies overlooking the central space. Access from balcony to balcony is provided by small stairways. At the top the space is decked over, creating an enclosed observation level with large glazed windows. An open observation area on the roof of this space is now closed to visitors and is used for radio equipment. The steel and concrete structure of the observation level is concealed behind plaster, stone and wood. The tower is decorated by bold murals by Fred Kabotie, with other, petroglyph-style decorations by Fred Greer. Small windows in the tower's shaft let beams of light into the lower space. The tower also features a number of "reflectoscopes" — black mirrors to reflect the view of the canyon in a more abstract style, providing visitors an alternative view of the Canyon.

Design
Mary Colter spent six months researching archeological prototypes and construction techniques before building a model of the site, studying the design of the tower using clay. Before the final design was completed Colter had a 70-foot (21 m) platform built to assess the views from the proposed site. Engineering was provided by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway. Colter was responsible for selecting Kabotie and Greer to decorate the interior. Greer's rock art paintings are copies of now-destroyed petroglyphs at Abo, New Mexico, and may be their only surviving representation.

Historic District
In addition to its individual designation as part of the M.E.J. Colter Buildings National Historic Landmark, the Watchtower is part of the Desert View Watchtower Historic District, which includes a number of support structures built and used by the Fred Harvey Company, and later used by the National Park Service. Significant buildings include the Desert View Caretaker's Residence (1930), the oldest extant structure in the area. This rustic stone and wood house was initially built as a rest stop for Harveycar tours right on the canyon rim, and was moved to its present location when the Watchtower was built. Fred Kabotie may have lived here while he was the Watchtower's caretaker. Several other buildings, including cabins, sheds and a comfort station are included in the historic district.

Historic designation
The bottom floor of the tower now contains a gift shop while the upper floors serve as an observation deck from which visitors to the national park can view eastern portions of the Grand Canyon. Desert View Watchtower was designated a United States National Historic Landmark as part of the Mary Jane Colter Buildings collective nomination on May 28, 1987, comprising the Desert View Watchtower, Hopi House, Lookout Studio and Hermit's Rest. The tower is also part of a National Register of Historic Places historic district, the Desert View Watchtower Historic District, designated on January 3, 1995.

In 2008, two tourists were banned from all American national parks for the period of a year after using white-out and permanent marker to correct the punctuation on a sign on the Desert View Watchtower, which had been painted by Colter.


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December 21, 2015

NEW MEXICO : Doorway - San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church


Classic Images


Historic San Felipe de Neri Church, Old Town, Albuquerque, New Mexico

changed the turquoise blue already

San Felipe de Neri Church

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

San Felipe de Neri Church is a historic Catholic church located on the north side of Old Town Plaza in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Built in 1793, it is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the city. Originally, Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdez named the church San Francisco Xavier, after the Viceroy of New Spain. Shortly afterward, The Duke of Albuquerque changed the name to San Felipe, after the King Philip of Spain. San Felipe de Neri was established in 1706 under the direction of Fray Manuel Moreno and initially stood to the northwest of the Plaza. The original building was completed in 1719. The original church building collapsed in 1792 after a heavy rain and was replaced by the current structure the following year. The towers were added in 1861, a parish school was constructed in 1878, and a convent for the Sisters of Charity was built on the west side of the church in 1881. Today the church complex is undergoing extensive renovations inside and out.


Old Town Plaza, Albuquerque, New Mexico


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December 16, 2015

ARIZONA : Sunrise at Wahweap Marina - Lake Powell



 Lake Powell Sunrise "Lake Powell Resort", Page, Arizona

Lake Powell


Lake Powell Resort is located at Wahweap Marina in Page, Arizona - right in the heart of all your "down-lake" activities and adventures. The Resort offers comfortable lodging and suites, terrific dining, and an ideal place to return to each evening after a day of fun and relaxation.

Here you can kick back by the side of the pool and enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery in the West. Take a boat tour, dinner cruise, or rent a powerboat for an afternoon of exploring canyons and having a picnic on your own secluded beach. With comfortable hotel rooms and suites, spectacular meals, and all the comforts of home, there's no better place on the down-lake shores of Lake Powell.

Lake Powell Resort at Wahweap Marina
100 Lake Shore Dr, Page, AZ

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December 13, 2015

ARIZONA : Fossils - Petrified Forest National Park


Fossils - Petrified Forest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Colorful mineral detail inside a broken log, Petrified Forest National Park, Holbrook, Arizona

During the Late Triassic, downed trees accumulating in river channels in what became the park were buried periodically by sediment containing volcanic ash. Groundwater dissolved silica (silicon dioxide) from the ash and carried it into the logs, where it formed quartz crystals that gradually replaced the organic matter. Traces of iron oxide and other substances combined with the silica to create varied colors in the petrified wood.

In Petrified Forest National Park, most of the logs in the park retained their original external form during petrification but lost their internal structure. However, a small fraction of the logs and most of the park’s petrified animal bones have cells and other spaces that are mineral-filled but still retain much of their original organic structure. With these permineralized fossils, it is possible to study the cellular make-up of the original organisms with the aid of a microscope. Other organic matter—typically leaves, seeds, cones, pollen grains, spores, small stems, and fish, insect, and animal remains—have been preserved in the park as compression fossils, flattened by the weight of the sediments above until only a thin film remains in the rock.

A petrified log in the Petrified Forest
Petrified Forest National Park, Holbrook, Arizona
Much of the park’s petrified wood is from Araucarioxylon arizonicum trees, while some found in the northern part of the park is from Woodworthia arizonica and Schilderia adamanica trees. At least nine species of fossil trees from the park have been identified; all are extinct. The park has many other kinds of fossils besides trees. The Chinle, considered one of the richest Late Triassic fossil-plant deposits in the world, contains more than 200 fossil plant taxa. Plant groups represented in the park include lycopods, ferns, cycads, conifers, ginkgoes, as well as unclassified forms. The park has also produced many fossil vertebrates—including giant crocodile-like reptiles called phytosaurs, large salamander-like amphibians called Buettneria, and early dinosaurs—and invertebrates, including freshwater snails and clams.


Petrified Forest National Park
Holbrook, Arizona

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December 7, 2015

ARIZONA : Petrified Forest National Park - Holbrook


Petrified Forest National Park

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Petrified Forest National Park is a United States national park in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona. Named for its large deposits of petrified wood, the fee area of the park covers about 170 square miles (440 square kilometers), encompassing semi-desert shrub steppe as well as highly eroded and colorful badlands. The park's headquarters is about 26 miles (42 km) east of Holbrook along Interstate 40 (I-40), which parallels the BNSF Railway's Southern Transcon, the Puerco River, and historic U.S. Route 66, all crossing the park roughly east–west. The site, the northern part of which extends into the Painted Desert, was declared a national monument in 1906 and a national park in 1962. About 800,000 people visit the park each year and take part in activities including sightseeing, photography, hiking, and backpacking.


Fossilization in silicification - Tree trunk, Petrified Forest National Park, Holbrook, Arizona


Averaging about 5,400 feet (1,600 m) in elevation, the park has a dry windy climate with temperatures that vary from summer highs of about 100 °F (38 °C) to winter lows well below freezing. More than 400 species of plants, dominated by grasses such as bunchgrass, blue grama, and sacaton, are found in the park. Fauna include larger animals such as pronghorns, coyotes, and bobcats; many smaller animals, such as deer mice; snakes; lizards; seven kinds of amphibians, and more than 200 species of birds, some of which are permanent residents and many of which are migratory. About half of the park is designated wilderness.




The Petrified Forest is known for its fossils, especially fallen trees that lived in the Late Triassic, about 225 million years ago. The sediments containing the fossil logs are part of the widespread and colorful Chinle Formation, from which the Painted Desert gets its name. Beginning about 60 million years ago, the Colorado Plateau, of which the park is part, was pushed upward by tectonic forces and exposed to increased erosion. All of the park's rock layers above the Chinle, except geologically recent ones found in parts of the park, have been removed by wind and water. In addition to petrified logs, fossils found in the park have included Late Triassic ferns, cycads, ginkgoes, and many other plants as well as fauna including giant reptiles called phytosaurs, large amphibians, and early dinosaurs. Paleontologists have been unearthing and studying the park's fossils since the early 20th century.




The park's earliest human inhabitants arrived at least 8,000 years ago. By about 2,000 years ago, they were growing corn in the area and shortly thereafter building pit houses in what would become the park. Later inhabitants built above-ground dwellings called pueblos. Although a changing climate caused the last of the park's pueblos to be abandoned by about 1400 CE, more than 600 archeological sites, including petroglyphs, have been discovered in the park. In the 16th century, Spanish explorers visited the area, and by the mid-19th century a U.S. team had surveyed an east–west route through the area where the park is now located and noted the petrified wood. Later, roads and a railway followed similar routes and gave rise to tourism and, before the park was protected, to large-scale removal of fossils. Theft of petrified wood remains a problem in the 21st century.

Geography
Petrified Forest National Park straddles the border between Apache County and Navajo County in northeastern Arizona. The park is about 30 miles (48 km) long from north to south, and its width varies from a maximum of about 12 miles (19 km) in the north to a minimum of about 1 mile (1.6 km) along a narrow corridor between the north and south, where the park widens again to about 4 to 5 miles (6 to 8 km).

I-40, former U.S. Route 66, the BNSF Railway, and the Puerco River bisect the park generally east–west along a similar route. Adamana, a ghost town, is about 1 mile (1.6 km) west of the park along the BNSF tracks. Holbrook, about 26 miles (42 km) west of park headquarters along I-40, is the nearest city. Bisecting the park north–south is Park Road, which runs between I-40 near park headquarters on the north and U.S. Route 180 on the south. Historic Highway 180, an earlier alignment of the modern route, crosses the southern edge of the park. Like Route 66, it has deteriorated and is closed. Many unpaved maintenance roads, closed to the public, intersect Park Road at various points.

The fee area of the park covers about 170 square miles (440 km2). The Navajo Nation borders the park on the north and northeast. State-owned land, federal land controlled by the Bureau of Land Management, and private land, much of it used for cattle ranching, adjoin the other borders. The park’s elevation above sea level varies from a low of 5,340 feet (1,630 m) along the Puerco River to a high of 6,230 feet (1,900 m) at Pilot Rock; the average elevation is about 5,400 feet (1,600 m). The terrain varies from gentle hills and major petrified wood deposits in the south to eroded badlands in the north. Most of the park's intermittent streams—including Lithodendron Wash, Dead Wash, Ninemile Wash, and Dry Wash—empty into the Puerco River. In the southern part of the park, Cottonwood Wash and Jim Camp Wash flow into the Little Colorado River.



Petrified Forest National Park
Holbrook, Arizona


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