Domes of Casa Grande, Arizona

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Forum topic by Jim Jakosh posted 02-03-2012 06:54 AM 5436 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Jakosh

15593 posts in 2380 days

02-03-2012 06:54 AM

Topic tags/keywords: resource

This is really a non shop subject, but I’ll bet you explorers would love to see it. We like to explore in Az and we go just about everywhere. We are always learning about stuff, whether it is around the coffee table at 7AM or on a trip in the desert.
We stumbled on these eerie looking domes last week. They are on Thornton Rd. about 3 miles south of I-8 in Casa Grande,Az. They are identified on the web and there is a full description, but there is nothing like seeing them in person- up close and personal!!
They were built in 1980 and were to be an electronics component plant but never really got going. They were made of foam and concrete poured over an internal balloon to get the shape. They cost about $150k per dome.
Inside they are 54 ft across, about 25 ft high and 300 ft long. We did not measure the saucer shaped one in front.
There were round holes in the ceiling for windows and huge door openings on each end. The roof is falling down in places and the insulation is peeling off the out side as is the white coating.
There are tunnels under the floor for who knows what?
The one thing is that the acoustics in there is amazing. You can hear a whisper at the far end of the four dome structure and the echo inside would be overwhelming if there were a lot of people speaking or a lot of noise. Even with all the holes, there are very cool inside when it is hot outside.

One site says they are haunted, too!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are some pics we took: Right mouse click and hit view image to see the whole picture!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

11 replies so far

View Woodfix's profile


332 posts in 2574 days

#1 posted 02-03-2012 07:46 AM

I remember reading about this type of construction when it was first proposed/used. Just goes to show you that nature will reclaim its own if its not maintained constantly. Another 30 years will see it as just a pile of dirt to be blown away.

Great adventure, great post.


-- Living is a constant gamble, life is about working the odds in your favour

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2092 posts in 2958 days

#2 posted 02-03-2012 12:42 PM

Very interesting Jim, sounds like you are on a great adventure. The buildings would make a good home for the damn boat people that arriving out here.

-- Bob C, Australia. I love sharing as long as it is not my tools

View Roger's profile


19126 posts in 2078 days

#3 posted 02-03-2012 05:30 PM

this must be area 51 part 2

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View NBeener's profile


4808 posts in 2448 days

#4 posted 02-03-2012 05:59 PM

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

15593 posts in 2380 days

#5 posted 02-03-2012 06:14 PM

Wow, Neil. That is one cool house! I’ll bet it stays cool with that type of construction ,too.
I’ll have to visit it when we go to Yuma! Thanks, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View TurnTurnTurn's profile


604 posts in 2384 days

#6 posted 02-03-2012 09:17 PM

...not to mention all of the modern day pictographs :-)

-- TurnTurnTurn

View DrDirt's profile


3987 posts in 3017 days

#7 posted 02-03-2012 09:41 PM

Biosphere 2 is pretty cool – Toured back in 1997 when it was a research station for Columbia University.

Down in Oracle Az

-- I don't trust trees. They're kinda shady

View DS's profile


2141 posts in 1695 days

#8 posted 02-03-2012 10:33 PM

There must’ve been at least one builder who thinks these domes are a good idea. This one went up in the mid nineties if I remember right. During the first stages of construction there were only two domes and no middle structure. It was affectionately called the booby church for awhile. I think they shook that notion by now.

BTW, the Biosphere in Oracle is on the same road as the Peppersauce cave. It’s a fairly low spelunking skill level, until you come to a formation called the lemon squeeze about a mile in. At that point the difficulty climbs considerably. (The vandalism, grafitti and litter is less and less as the climbing skill required is more and more. Funny how that works.)
It’s a natural spring cave and is usually flooded and impassable in the Winter time.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Rustic's profile


3218 posts in 2871 days

#9 posted 02-07-2012 03:27 AM

My Dad helped build the first Bio Sphere

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View mafe's profile


10862 posts in 2363 days

#10 posted 02-07-2012 11:27 AM

They are beautiful Jim!
I love the images you took, it is like old ufos beeing slowly eaten by time.
Thank you for sharing these with us.
Best thoughts my friend,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View JohnMeeley's profile


255 posts in 1607 days

#11 posted 02-07-2012 12:36 PM

When I retire to AZ, I know where my shop will be!

-- "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what others say you cannot do."-Walter Bagehot

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