The Black Rock Nature Center and Campground at Joshua Tree National Park was constructed in 1970 by a private campground developer as the third franchise of “Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Campground.” The National Park Service acquired the campground in 1976 and renovated it, removing the Yogi Bear features and other amenities not typically found in national parks. The history of the development was long forgotten until a recent renovation project. Through archival research, on-site inspection, and professional analysis, Hennebery Eddy determined the building eligible for listing on the National Register as the only remaining representative of the Jellystone franchise in the West — significant to the development of standardized campgrounds across America. We prepared a Historic Structure Report with recommendations for maintenance, repairs, and long-term stewardship for the building and the associated amphitheater.
The park’s approach shifted to restoring and maintaining this historic resource. Hennebery Eddy researched the original ’60s-era aluminum shake roof system roof system, identified a current manufacturer, analyzed paint on the remaining building components believed to have originally been orange to determine a color match, and provided selective details and specifications. The new roof system will perform better in the high desert climate. We also provided construction documents for in-kind window replacement, “log” siding repair, and accessibility upgrades in accordance with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The park is educating park staff on the building’s history, significance, and best approach to future improvements.