There’s nothing like breaking and entering.
Before you cast any judgment, hear me out. Imagine discovering a place seemingly untouched by other human beings for an indeterminate length of time. You spot it from the road, overgrown by the trees around it. An allure lingers despite its abandon. Normal people might see it and think, “Cool,” then drive on. Then again, Joe and I are as far removed from ‘normal’ as possible.
The locale in question is a geodesic dome built in the early 1950s by Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller—-architect, designer, futurist. From the road, it doesn’t look like much. Guarded by a motel and a wall of trees, it dwells in stolid silence. How could we resist getting a closer look?
We tried the obvious ingresses first. Doors, windows, side entrances—-all locked. Joe pointed out that someone had cut through a screen that led into the basement storage area of the building. Next to a pile of discarded wood was a low window that led into the basement. The opening was just large enough for a person to squeeze through. So we slid in.
If you’ve ever snuck into an abandoned building, you’re familiar with the initial rush. It’s a colloidal mixture of adrenaline, fear, and wonder. There were objects old and new laying around. Kitchen stoves, ladders, a lawnmower, a restaurant sign, lamps—-artifacts from a past era. Eerie and fascinating at the same time.
On our way out, we left a couple entrances open for future explorers. Although we did our fair share of looking around, we left everything as it was. Well, almost:
Lesson learned: If you want an adventure, you have to go look for it. Clandestine domes don’t go exploring themselves, you know. And if you’re lucky enough (like I am), you have a partner in crime to do it with you.
My friend and former colleague Katie Klocksin previously came across this dome and produced a stellar radio story about it. Give it a listen. I highly recommend it for a historical perspective on the dome itself.