Grand Canyon National Park is home to a number of historically important buildings along the South Rim. Former residents, guest lodges, and artist communes today serve as museums, guest shops, and amphitheaters for informative programs. Legendary architects like Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter and Charles F. Whittlesey designed a number of the historic buildings at Grand Canyon today.
The Kolb Studio was once the home of the Kolb brothers, who were prolific photographers during the early days of the Grand Canyon, go to great length, and in some cases great personal risk, to get the first amazing photographs of the Canyon.
Today the Kolb Studio has been fully restored and is used as a bookstore and auditorium for the public. Art exhibits are ongoing and are free. You can check at the National Park Service Grand Canyon Visitors Center for a schedule of exhibits. The Kolb Studio is located in the Grand Canyon Village Historic District, at the Bright Angel Trailhead. It is open daily from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
The Hopi House was original designed by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter as a home for Native Americans to live and create arts and crafts. Designed as a classic pueblo, this well built building is a must see while at the Canyon. The original natural materials can still be seen today inside and this building was constructed so well, little has been done to it over the last 80 plus years. Despite the heat outside, you will be amazed at how cool the inside is and the cross breezes that go through this well designed building.
A number of Native American programs happen outside of Hopi House on the rim side. You can check at the National Park Service Grand Canyon Visitors Program or at Hopi House for the daily program. Now used as a gift show, the Hopi House is located in the Grand Canyon Village Historic District, next to the El Tovar Hotel.
The Tusayan Museum provides a look at ancient Native American pueblo life 800 years ago. The museum is located three miles west of Desert View on the East Rim Drive. It is adjacent to an 800 year old ruin with a self-guided hiking trail that is handicapped accessible. There are also ranger lead programs.
Yavapai Observation Station hosts a number of temporary exhibits on fossils and the geology of Grand Canyon National Park. Outstanding views of the Grand Canyon through the large windows in the building. A bookstore and educational materials are available and the hours of operation are from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM daily. The Yavapai Observation Station is located five miles north of the south entrance to Grand Canyon National Park.