The design of this 5,400 sq. ft. building interprets the “white cliffs” as a major design feature, providing visitors a sense of massive scale and beauty that can be experienced throughout the monument area. Another key design feature is the symbolism of riverboats, which played an important role in the discovery and westward progression of civilization.
The center is located at the furthest upstream point of the Missouri River that could be navigated by riverboats. It includes 2,000 sq. ft. of interpretive exhibit area and 800 sq. ft. of Bureau of Land Management offices and visitor information. The balance of the remaining space provides restrooms, lobbies, a multi-purpose room, and circulation-mechanical space.
The design process included several partnership and public meetings, but most importantly, a two-day design charrette for a hands-on ownership and concept development by the BLM staff, the City of Fort Benton, and the River and Plains Society representatives. From the design charrette, three unique concepts were developed.