SFS Architecture


National Frontier Trails Visitors Center

Independence, MO

Historic mill structures restored as modern visitors’ information/education center


Transform part of a late 1800s milling complex into a modern multipurpose visitors’ center commemorating those who passed through Independence, Missouri along trails that opened the Western frontier.


SFS worked closely with State of Missouri representatives in designing the restoration project. Also, with Deaton Museum Services, the design team coordinated creation of the exhibit storyline with state staff and local community volunteers and developed an interpretive exhibit design.


The completed center provides a rich environment for visitors to learn about the role of Independence in America’s westward expansion. It includes an exhibit area for permanent interpretive exhibits, a temporary exhibit area, multipurpose auditorium and theater, archives room, exhibit work space and administrative offices.

Awards & Publications

Award for Excellence in Architecture, American Institute of Architects - Kansas City

Award for Excellence in Architecture, American Institute of Architects - Central States

Preservation Award, Historic Kansas City Foundation

Published, Iowa Architect

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