The Western Heritage Center (WHC), the building at 156 C S. Montezuma, is currently being renovated. It will accommodate what Western Heritage Foundation President Dennis Gallagher calls “…a facility for presenting a unique vision of our special history, culture and tradition in Yavapai County.”
Gallagher further defines the foundation’s mission: “to preserve and promote the Prescott area’s Western heritage through education, art, music, events and projects that enhance Western lifestyle, making Prescott and Yavapai County unique and desirable places to live and to visit.”
Gallagher persuaded noted Prescott architect Williams Otwell of Otwell Associates to provide professional advice about renovating the 100-plus-year-old building to accurately depict the Western lifestyle characteristic of the region.
Gallagher and WHF Vice President Robert Greninger say the location is ideal. They point out that while Prescott has several museums and other sources of information about the area, none is in the high-traffic area of Whiskey Row. They emphasize that being in a central location has big advantages. Tourists can eat, shop and browse without spending time driving and finding parking places.
Within the WHC, Gallagher said the plan is to have interactive learning areas to share ranching, mining, railroad and law enforcement history. He also envisions a youth section, where youngsters can engage in hands-on activities.
Exhibits are expected to change routinely, with dynamic displays and visual, auditory and other sensory experiences for visitors.
“None of this would have happened if it hadn’t been for dozens of generous donors and supporters,” said Gallagher. “They share the vision that my wife, Mary Ann, and I had when we came here 12 years ago and discovered what a unique regional culture there was. They seem to agree with us—that the Western Heritage Center can become a destination in and of itself.” QCBN
By Ray Newton, QCBN
For more information, visit WHC.Org or contact Gallagher at P.O. Box 773, Prescott, AZ 856302.
Western Heritage Foundation founder and president Dennis Gallagher poses with a conceptual rendering of the interior of the soon-to-be created Western Heritage Center. Located on historic Whiskey Row, the WHC will house interactive exhibits and displays that showcase the region’s rich Western heritage and tradition.
Photo by Ray Newton