This 8,500 sq. ft. building designed by DDI, replaces the two smaller buildings that could no longer accommodate the more than 130,000 visitors who stop into the center each year. “Visitors can find information on destinations, hotels, attractions and services and the Welcome Center’s staff can help with making reservations so people can get to where they’re going and have a place to stay when they get there,” says Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesman Charlie Metzger. There are also interactive kiosks with information about the state, and a secure area on the site for pets that may need to take a walk after a long drive.
Clad in champagne metal panels and local field stone, the Pennsylvania Welcome Center took about a year to construct at a cost of nearly $6 million.
The interior incorporates those materials and adds the warmth of reclaimed walnut and bluestone to create a modern and inviting space. The rotunda exhibition hall was conceived to celebrate each of the state’s various regions. Free standing kiosks provide graphic way finding and an abundance of area specific brochures. The map behind the reception desk is an abstraction of the state’s regions presented in glass and metal.