Kalamazoo Nature Center

When people think of the Kalamazoo Nature Center (KNC), it’s usually our 14 miles of trails and 1,100 acres of forest and prairie that come to mind. Yet it’s our Visitor Center, designed in 1962 by Alden B. Dow, that brings the outside in. Its domed roof, round shape and angular lines embody the natural harmony of mid-century modern design.

After 64 years, the Visitor Center was showing its age until the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation and others made much-needed renovations possible.

The first step was to replace the iconic dome and roof. The double-pane glass on the new dome provides major savings in energy costs compared to the old single-pane glass. Adding four inches of foam insulation under the new roof also contributes to energy savings. All these upgrades help advance KNC’s mission of becoming carbon neutral by 2035.

Inside the Visitor Center, we have milled and polished the concrete floor, installed engineered hardwood and added acoustic materials to reduce echo. These changes improve the visitor experience for our 100,000-plusannual guests and are essential as we shift to museum-quality traveling exhibits.

The Visitor Center renovation has restored an architectural masterpiece and added new possibilities for hands-on educational encounters with nature. By bringing the outside in, we make it more accessible for all.

For more information, visit: www.naturecenter.org