This 88 1/2 foot tall illuminated steel structure, coated with multi-colored shades of metallic paint is dedicated to on of Northern plains most stunning natural phenomena, the spectacular beauty of the Aurora Borealis.
The City of Rugby, North Dakota, has long been recognized as the Geographical Center of North America. In early 1996, plans to develop a tourism site, which would further reflect and enhance Rugby's unique heritage. The vision called for an interpretive center that would be unique, informative, and congruent with existing tourism resources.
This 88 foot steel monument, lit at night by multicolored lights projected from below, rises out of the prairie to mark the interpretive site and recreate the spectacular beauty of the Aurora Borealis.
1. Offers a monumental vista dedicated to one of the Northern Plains most stunning natural phenomena, The Aurora Borealis.
2. Provides perhaps the only site anywhere dedicated not just to a region or county, but a continent. The designation, Geographical Center of North America, which includes the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America, adds an international flair which invites new areas for interpretation, education, promotion, and exchange.
3. Offer on-going educational opportunities for visitors from far and near, school children, and for people of all ages.
The Interpretive Center is an excellent site for natural science programs, such as those relating to the aurora borealis, comets, or other astronomical phenomena.
The Site is located east of the junction of Highway 2 & Highway 3, Rugby, N.D. The Tower was completed in 1999 and the Interpretive Center was built in the year 2003. An extensive landscaping project will be completed in the summer of 2008 and improvements to the current lighting at the Northern Lights Tower are in progress.