Monday, October 17, 2011


The quarry face once again looks spectacular --- all cleaned up, with special lighting illuminating important concentrations of bones, and in a brand new stable, shinning, clean windowed structure. Hard as it may seem, there are times when it can look even better. Is hyperspectacular a real word?

The Quarry Exhibit Hall, like its predecessor, is designed with extensive glass walls in order to use ambient light both to illuminate the cliff and to allow those inside to see how the quarry sits among the nearby craggy hills. However, an equally spectacular, although radically different, view of the cliff comes at night. Dinosaur has remarkably dark skies, unimaginably so to those who have lived all their lives in urban areas. With the inside exhibit and cliff lights turned on, the Quarry Exhibit Hall glistens in the vast darkness of the Monument.

Inside the wall lights up with a different look and feel than that seen during the day, although it is admittedly a difficult look to capture in a photograph.

From inside, the darkness makes the hills and valleys around the building simply disappear. At first you get the unnerving sensation that there is nothing other than the building you are in. However, looking carefully at the glass walls reveals a reflection of the cliff, both clear and unreal, extending seemingly off into the void. It is a striking thing to see.

For a variety of reasons the building has only rarely been open at night. Last week we opened it up for a few hours as a thank you to those who labored for months on planning, coordinating, and cleaning for its reopening so they could get a chance to see it at its most enchanting.

Photos: Dan Chure

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