With baseball season back in swing this week, talk at some point turns to the heartbreak of losing the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles. Modern Mechanix informs us that team owner Walter O’Malley had championed a Brooklyn dome stadium designed by Buckminster Fuller–and how the result is yet another reason to blame Robert Moses.
O’Malley took the team to Cali, if you’ll remember, because he got a better deal on land for a stadium–better than he was able to get in the five boroughs. He had wanted to keep the team in Brooklyn, but Ebbets Field was looking down-at-the-heels by then and bad for morale. In 1955 O’Malley wrote dome-obsessed architect Buckminster Fuller requesting a domed stadium design.
So what happened?
Buckminster Fuller and Shoji Sadao Dome Over Manhattan, 1960. Image courtesy of the Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller.
During the 1960s and 1970s, thanks to future-thinking genius engineer/utopian Buckminster Fuller, plans were proposed to cover midtown Manhattan with a giant geodesic dome. Fuller, who invented the concept and was deeply invested in studying the domes and their properties, described a three kilometer (1.864 mile) geodesic dome spanning midtown Manhattan that would regulate weather and reduce air pollution.
The proposed structure would have stretched from the East River to the Hudson River and from 21st Street to 64th Street. The dome would reduce cooling costs in summer and heating costs in the winter, so buildings wouldn’t need separate heating or cooling–the dome above would be kept at a regulated temperature level.
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A geodesic dome house near the mountains of the Catskills? Yes, it exists. This $1.49 million property at 106 Mountain Laurel Lane, which spans a little more than one acre, holds a house with two very distinct architectural styles. The first is contemporary, which the listing says is inspired by the “lines and modern aesthetic of Frank Lloyd Wright.” Then there’s the dome design, inspired by architect Buckminster Fuller. The two styles were integrated into a 3,300-square-foot home with three bedrooms. Inside, a triangle door from the “contemporary wing” leads you into a geometric space with triangular windows and a pentagon skylight. You don’t see ’em like this everyday.
The listing calls it the DomeHouse and “The Embrace”
Are you ready for a relaxing summer? We’ve found a great piece of furniture floating around the Internet that we wouldn’t mind having in our home. Meet the new Kodama Zomes, a unique hanging lounger shaped like a geodesic dome that offers the perfect space for relaxation, reading, meditating, or just snoozing your afternoons away. Designed by structural engineer Richie Duncan, the sturdy cocoon will help you unplug as it softly sways you with the summer breeze.
Learn more about these floating sofas
- Minnesota-based artist HOT TEA used 120 gallons of rainbow-colored paint to transform a Roosevelt Island swimming pool. [Colossal]
- Geodesic dome creator Buckminster Fuller had a pretty hefty FBI file. Find out what these documents say. [Gizmodo]
- Go inside the secret basement that powers New York’s wireless subway network. [Fast Co.]
- How the Twin Towers went from “filing cabinets” to American icons that remain symbols of the city even in their absence. [The Guardian]
- New York City is the second most energy-efficient city in the country, behind only Boston. [NYDN]
- Lilac, the last remaining steam-powered lighthouse tender in the country, has been transformed into an art gallery. Visit all summer at Pier 25 in Tribeca. [Gothamist]
- Mapping all of NYC’s public bathrooms. [BK Mag]
Images: Asylum by HOT TEA (L); Wireless station via Fast Co. (R)
While we all love to ogle the latest and greatest rendering reveals, it’s a shame how quickly we forget about the incredible architecture that could have risen once their plans get scrapped. To give a small consolation to the architects who spent countless hours and sleepless nights scribbling skyscrapers with the hope of transforming the built landscape, Rubberbond has created a nifty infographic showing 25 ambitious projects that today, for better or worse, only live on in drawings. From a pyramid-shaped mausoleum in London designed to hold five million corpses to a Sagrada Familia-like hotel Gaudí fashioned for NYC to a giant Bucky dome that could have covered Manhattan, have a look at all the lost designs ahead and then weigh in—was it a good idea these were dumped or would they have been great architectural additions?
See the whole thing here