Kennecott Mines NHL

September 7, 2021
Full view Kennicott Mines National Historic Landmark topographic scale model

Discovered in 1900, Kennecott got its start as a copper mining operation in 1911. It shut down 27 years later after extracting over one billion pounds of copper. The site laid idle for decades before the National Park Service acquired it in 1998. It is now known as the Kennecott (or Kennicott) Mines National Historic Landmark.


The Park Service contacted us to create a large topographic scale model of the landmark to benefit the visitors and give them a sense of the place. Over 50 of the original buildings remain in various stages of repair. The National Park Service is restoring the site, building by building.


The main activities in this area are exploring the mining operations and vigorous hiking into the surrounding mountains to other mining camps nearby. A fiberglass casting provides a helpful visual and tactile aid in orienting visitors, giving a sense of scale and elevation. Other useful information can also be conveyed via a terrain map, such as the yellow shapes that represent privately-owned land.


Old trails, tramways, and tracks are laid out on the terrain model and serve to orient the visitors. The trail markers are tactile and there are many LED push-button lighting features that highlight the different elements.