Buckminster-Fuller’s ground-breaking geodesic domes might have been technologically revolutionary and highly efficient, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to find a roofer to maintain them. For that reason—and several others—a developer is not only trying to get rid of his Bucky-inspired dome, he’s offering a whopping $100,000 bonus to anyone who will take it off his hands. The Gold Dome, once a branch of Citizen’s State Bank on Route 66 in Oklahoma City, was recently purchased by David Box who has found $2.5 million worth of problems with the building—leading him to offer up the distinctive dome to anyone who will take it.
Designed and built in 1958 by Oklahoma architecture firm Bailey, Bozalis, Dickinson, and Roloff after Buckminster Fuller’s patented geodesic domes, the 27,000 square foot facility is topped by 625 gold anodized aluminum panels, each weighing 60-70lbs. The Gold Dome has been eligible to be listed on the Register of Historic Places since 2002. In 2001 it survived an application for demolition, by then owners Bank One who after a successful campaign by locals reversed their decision. David Box bought the property in September of last year for $800,000, promising at the time that he would leave it intact.
But with the dome falling into rapid disrepair, Box faces problems with the building ranging from asbestos to a broken HVAC system—and has since reversed his decision against demolishing the property, or at least parts of it. And while the community has rallied to save the Gold Dome in the past, it is the distinctive dome that is proving to be one of Box’s greatest problems. The owner claims that the roof leaks, and is unsafe, and speaking to a local news agency, Box explained “you can’t just call a normal roofer and say “hey, we got a geodesic dome down here, can you fix it? It doesn’t work like that.”
So far no takers appear to have come forward. An editorial in The Oklahoman has, however, appealed to the local Flaming Lips to take on the landmark structure, stating “[The Gold Dome] needs an eccentric owner, an artist, an unusual owner-occupier.”
Via Arch Paper
Lead image (cc) Fast Cars and Fast Boys on Flickr