Desert View Watchtower to be maintained as Native cultural site

Desert View Watchtower on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. (Loretta Yerian/WGCN)

Desert View Watchtower on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. (Loretta Yerian/WGCN)

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — Officials at the Grand Canyon say they're expanding programming at a historic watchtower where visitors can learn about Native American culture.

The National Park Service's Intermountain Region signed off on the plan last month.

The Desert View Watchtower near the east entrance of Grand Canyon gives visitors expansive views of the Painted Desert and the Little Colorado River Gorge. It had housed a gift shop up until 2015 when the Park Service turned it into a cultural heritage site.

The Grand Canyon is planning to add demonstrations, exhibits and opportunities for visitors to interact with tribal members and artists there.

The 70-foot (21-meter) watchtower was built in the early 1930s by famed architect Mary Colter. Stone covering the National Historic Landmark hides the building's steel frame.

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