GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - Grand Canyon Association (GCA) recently announced it received a $100,000 grant from American Express to help restore Kolb Studio, a historic building built into the side of Grand Canyon at the Bright Angel Trailhead.
The restoration will cost almost $500,000. GCA hopes to have renovations completed by the end of fall 2013.
Unfortunately, as Kolb Studio advances past its 100-year anniversary, its suitability for public visitation is at risk. Without significant renovations the studio would soon close to the public.
"Over the past 100 years, erosion and overall wear and tear require the building to be restored with some significant restoration," Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga said.
American Express Foundation President Timothy J. McClimon said his company is proud to support the preservation of Kolb Studio for future generations to enjoy.
"Historic preservation has long been the hallmark of American Express' involvement in the communities where our employees and customers live, work and explore," McClimon said.
Built in 1904, Kolb Studio was the site of the legendary Kolb brothers' photography studio where they captured early tourists on treks into Grand Canyon. Later, the owners expanded the house to include a theater and the family residence until Emery Kolb's death in 1976 when the building came under National Park Service ownership.
As a historic building, the Grand Canyon Association took stewardship of the building and it is now an integral part of the visitor experience at Grand Canyon, housing a GCA bookstore and a gallery for rotating exhibits that are free to the public.
"GCA is proud to partner with American Express given their leadership in the area of historic preservation of America's treasured landmarks," Grand Canyon Association Executive Director Susan Schroeder said.
More information on this and other projects is available by visiting www.grandcanyon.org.