Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Cody, Wyoming, USA

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West comprises five museums and a research library in Cody, Wyoming.

Cody is a quintessentially Old West town located just 50 miles from the East Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. As the region’s most popular cultural attraction, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West serves locals and visitors alike while they seek to gain a deeper understanding of the region’s vast and varied cultural and natural history.

Fentress Architects was chosen to create a forward-thinking monumental and heroic image for the Center. The design embodies the comprehensive essence of the west on a scale unmatched anywhere in the world. In addition to renovating the Whitney Western Art Museum, Fentress designed:

  • the new Draper Natural History Museum,
  • renovation and expansion of the lobby,
  • new museum store,
  • new orientation theater,
  • new collection care facilities, and
  • reorientation of the entry drive and parking.

Draper Natural History Museum

As the Center’s newest addition, the Draper Natural History Museum augments the Center’s cultural offerings—Buffalo Bill Museum, Cody Firearms Museum, Plains Indian Museum, Whitney Western Art Museum, and McCracken Research Library—with a facility wholly dedicated to the natural history of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

Immersive, informative, and inspiring exhibits that explain the natural forces continuing to shape Yellowstone and the region have certainly helped Draper gain international acclaim. As such, the museum is now a particularly integral part of the itinerary for many of Yellowstone’s four million annual visitors.

Whitney Western Art Museum

First opened in 1959, the Whitney Western Art Museum later merged with Buffalo Bill Center of the West and now features a collection of over 7,000 works. Fentress Architects design for the gallery creates a tranquil and contemplative space that supports the gallery’s orientation around thematic display. Activities are stationed throughout the gallery to enhance the experience and encourage discovery and creativity in visitors of all ages.