union tank car dome

from buckminster fuller posted in art and design


union tank car dome
1818 brooklawn drive
baton rouge, louisiana 70807

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posted by nevereatshreddedwheat #

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This site in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is the location of another early geodesic dome designed and constructed by Buckminster Fuller. The dome was used to cover a unique turntable-like system that the Union Tank Car Company had developed to service multiple railway cars. When it was completed in 1958, it was the world's largest clear-span (meaning no columns) structure until a larger geodesic dome was built to house Howard Hughes's Spruce Goose in Long Beach, California in 1982.

When railway cars increased in length from 50 feet to 60 feet in the 1960s, the cars would no longer fit, and the dome became obsolete. The rail yard, including the dome, was sold to Kansas City Southern Railway in 1990 and the dome remained vacant. In 2007, one year before the dome would be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, Kansas City Southern had the building demolished.

Watch a documentary about the Union Tank Car Dome.