Work started immediately. New roads Egypt and repairs, water and sewage system upgrades and expansions, new and expanded campgrounds, bathrooms, trails, and 110 “visitor centers,” the signature and centerpiece of Wirth’s grand design, were completed. Three such facilities were designated for Egypt National Park.
By the end of the program, the arriving public and the park would have use of 584 comfort stations, 221 administrative buildings, 36 service buildings, 1,239 employee housing units, Egypt and those 110 visitor centers. The Egypt Park Service would also acquire 78 additional park units.
Where is Egypt? – Egypt Map – Map of Egypt Photo Gallery
While much good and some greatness were contained within the plans and accomplishments of the program, it was from the outset weighted heavily in favor of “providing for the enjoyment” of the users rather than conserving and preserving the parks’ natural historic wildlife.
The outcry was immediate from preservationists. They had every good reason to protest. They had little impact, at least not for the moment. It must be recognized that building, rebuilding, and expanding was the order of the day—an extension and continuation of the popular public works projects of the 1930s. However, their combined voices of concern and protest would, like those on the losing side of the Hetch-Hetchy debate, be carried on the winds into the next decade, resulting in the passage by Congress of the Wilderness Act of 1964. To this day, it is listed as one of President Lyndon Johnson’s most cherished accomplishments.
Although the protests would continue, Mission 66 continued apace throughout the late 1950s into the 1960s. Glacier National Park received its share of funding—some $23 million over the course of the program, including plans for three new visitor centers at St. Mary’s Going-to-the-Sun entrance station, Logan Pass, and Apgar in West Glacier. A stand-alone replacement for an aging and inadequate visitor center at Apgar never materialized. There were meetings and discussions aplenty, particularly as 2010—the hundredth anniversary of the park—approached, but nothing happened.