The E. E. Fogelson Visitor Center opened to the public on August 5, 1984. Nestled in a piñon/juniper landscape, the site is ideally placed out of view from the pueblo and mission and provides a memorable visitor experience. You can pick up park information and talk to park staff. The visitor center also offers a film, museum, and a bookstore.
The film is 12 minutes long and narrated in English by Greer Garson. There is also a Spanish language version narrated by Ricardo Montalbán.
The museum exhibits highlight the wide range of stories told at the park, which include the natural environment, pre-history, pueblo and mission history, the Santa Fe Trail, Civil War, and 20th century Hollywood and ranching. The exhibits feature artifacts from Alfred Vincent Kidder’s excavation at the site. Kidder’s 12 field seasons at Pecos formed the basis for Southwestern archaeology as a new science.
The bookstore is managed by Western National Parks Association (WNPA) and your purchases support the park. You can also become a member of the association while visiting and receive discounts on purchases at Pecos NHP and other WNPA outlets, as well as other association outlets at parks across the country.
In recognition of their numerous contributions to the National Park Service, in 1981 the Fogelsons received the Conservation Service Award, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the Department of the Interior.
E.E. “Buddy” Fogelson and his wife Greer Garson were pivotal in the construction of the visitor center from its design to its completion. The 23½ acres on which the building rests were donated by the Fogelsons to what was then Pecos National Monument.
Due to limited space for exhibits, the Fogelsons were dissatisfied with an early design for the structure and lobbied for the typical Spanish-Puebloan structual design found throughout northern New Mexico, arguing that it would contain more space for interpretive programs and museum collections. The direct result of these efforts is the structure in use today.
In the summer of 1983 construction on the $1,033,000 structure began, with the Fogelsons contributing nearly half the cost. A museum wing was constructed later with their contribution of $180,500, or 83 percent of the cost.
In addition, the Fogelsons purchased or donated many of the exhibits displayed in the visitor center museum.