CTA as leader in interpreting the mid-century architecture of Mission 66

By: CTA In The News
14 June 2017

Canyon Village in Yellowstone: The Model for Mission 66, written by CTA’s director of Historic Preservation Services, is now available in bookstores in the Yellowstone region. Published by History Press, the book highlights author Lesley Gilmore’s research and analysis of the first Mission 66 project in the United States: Canyon Village in Yellowstone National Park. Renowned Californian architectural firm Welton Becket & Associates designed Canyon Village in 1956 within the parameters of the federal program’s vision of improving the national parks that had been neglected since the Depression.

The mission’s primary goals included preservation of natural resources, improved visitor services, and optimal use of the built environment through efficient, modern design. The village, located several miles away from the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, was completed in 1957.

Gilmore’s book discusses the political milieu of this ten-year construction program that impacted most of the park units across the country and changed visitors’ experience of Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon.

Gilmore’s efforts were championed and aided by CTA’s Board of Directors and staff members, various Yellowstone National Park employees, Welton Becket’s offspring, and a host of research repositories. Gilmore will provide several presentations about the book at book signings throughout the summer and fall.

Presentations are currently scheduled at the following locations:

  • The Country Bookshelf | Bozeman, MT | Saturday, June 17, 4-6 p.m.
  • Barnes & Noble | Bozeman, MT | Saturday, July 1, 1-3 p.m.
  • Montana Historical Society | Helena, MT | Thursday, October 19, 6:30 p.m.
    This session will feature a presentation with additional images not included in the book.

The book is available for purchase at Arcadia Publishing [LINK] and is also being carried by local Montana bookstores and stores in Yellowstone National Park.


“It was rewarding to craft a story about all the players in this seminal Mission 66 project. I reached out to a broad range of people who participated directly and indirectly in the actual design and construction — including the sons and nephew of the original architect, Welton Becket, and the son of the Yellowstone landscape architect who oversaw the design from the Park’s perspective. I also enjoyed finding — easily — the inherent beauty in the design of Canyon Village and the various buildings.”

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