Located in the heart of Scottsdale’s historic downtown, Scottsdale’s Museum of the West is a world renowned museum displaying cultural and artistic artifacts and exhibits highlighting the meeting of the “Old West and New West.” The historic downtown is a vital, cultural hub of the city, known for its arts and cultural amenities and historic buildings. The Museum provides another cultural venue to the downtown and is the center for an augmented arts district, providing connections to other, adjacent downtown districts. Built adjacent to the now vacant Loloma Transit Center, the museum incorporates parts of the center into grounds and programming. The Museum includes a museum store, interpretive spaces that tell the story of the west as well as galleries for permanent and travelling exhibitions and a multi-use space for gatherings and presentation.
The design of the Museum takes its inspiration from icons of the west including the horseshoe, woven basket and the characteristic red cliffs and mesas of the Colorado Plateau. The public space of the Museum is organized as a series of galleries in a “U”, or horseshoe, shape, forming a central courtyard. Natural light from the courtyard becomes a central, organizing element for the museum, reminding visitors of the quality of the western landscape. A bridge connecting the upper level galleries provides views of Camelback Mountain to the northwest, an iconic natural feature of the Phoenix Valley.