The Reagan Ranch Center exists to preserve and give the public a view into Ronald Reagan’s “Western White House,” Ranch del Cielo in the Santa Ynez Mountains outside of Santa Barbara, CA. The Center uses the ranch as a lens to provide unique insight into the man himself not available at the Reagan presidential library. As the ranch itself is not in a position to handle thousands of visitors per year, however, the Center was built with an interpretive gallery and visitor center in downtown Santa Barbara that hosts tours and special events year-round.
The centerpiece of the gallery is the new interactive timeline, consisting of five multitouch displays that let visitors explore the events that occurred while the Reagans owned the ranch. Ranging from intimate (home videos of President Reagan chopping wood at the ranch the day after he won re-election) to world-changing (the collapse of the USSR), the timeline presents precious letters, photographs, interviews and memorabilia in high-resolution that describe a detailed portrait of the man across nearly three decades. Topic filters support theme-based storytelling, allowing for docent-led and self-directed explorations of storylines such as the Cold War, great speeches, and the conservative movement, to name a few.
Running in stunning UHD resolution, visitors use familiar pinch-zoom and swipe gestures to flip through artifacts in great detail as if they were digging through the drawers of Reagan’s desk. Custom-designed enclosures made from 100+-year-old reclaimed wood and corrugated steel feel like something that might have been found on the ranch, and state-of-the-art directional audio ensures that audio and video playback doesn’t bleed over from one station to another. The entire system is powered by an online CMS that enables easy expansion and editing from any web browser, ensuring that Reagan’s personal legacy will always be as tangible and accessible as he was in real life.
Reagan Ranch Center