EIK - Session 11 Part 15
So, I said, if I design what really feels good to you, and it really is economical, and then gets to be known that you like it, and it gets to be better and better known for what it really does and the economy of it becomes more and more evident, then there will come a time when there will be an emergency, because everything I have ever done that really does get going always comes in an emergency. So that we will see the time, probably, just about the time we really get it good, we keep reworking at it, and getting it better and better, about the time it is really good, it will be very badly needed, and it will happen. So we gave it the name Old Man River Project because it was beside the Mississippi and that part is evident.
Now, let me tell you about it. The it is to be a one-dome enclosure affair, but, you are familiar with the moon crater what a moon crater looks like, and this would be a moon crater which is a half mile diameter from rim to rim. Do you understand that, from rim to rim, but the slope of the moon crater is a very graceful, gradual slope like this so that the outer most part of the rim as it descends from the half mile crater is one mile in diameter. O.K.?
Now, you're looking at the dome and you're seeing the crater below the dome and the edges of that, the top edges are then a half mile across and the base out there, the picture isn't quite large enough to show the whole picture, is a mile wide. It is all terraced inside and outside. There are fifty terraces fifty terraces high. And the bottom terrace is very wide and as they get higher they get narrower, and when they get narrower, then the living on it goes back deeper into the mountain, so the mountain has thickness do you understand? So they go back about well I'll get to what the rooms what the families are like and so forth in just a minute. So, they're all the same terraces on the inside. There are bridges across between the inside and the outside terraces, pretty much like bridges you'd go across as you're coming into a big stadium and coming up the ramps and go across the bridge coming out suddenly in the stadium. And there are bridges at every four floors. So at any point you can go down two terraces, or up two and you come to a bridge at the worst condition. You might be on the right one for it.
Then there are, inside the crater, it's a hollow mountain, circular mountain going around here. Inside is sort of a big "A" frame form, this is where all the traffic is, all the circumferential highway that gets you there gets everything to where it is going to go, and there are vertical elevatings and so forth, climb up and down ramps, but all the traffic is out of sight. And so, the biggest part, and this is the thing for the Africans, and what they really did love, the inside of the dome is entirely community life, and as you go up at the top looking down you might see this way your kids are going to school, and you'll see there are trees all planted around, so this is an enormous great garden. At the very bottom is a large, really very large athletic field and so forth, it is much more several athletic big ones would be there, very much bigger than any of our regular dome things now present bowls or anything like that.
You would then be able to see where there are stores, anything that is going on. There would be tennis courts, hundreds of tennis courts and so forth. Anything that is community life is all visible there. If you've ever been you have been in the rose bowl or something like that, and you know seeing the other side people begin to be very tiny, actually, so they are going to be much tinier still. You would have to use glasses to see your kid at the school down there, but the point is, it is all community life. Then you go out the bridge, on the outside all the terraces are where the homes are, and they each one they are all planted with trees, and here is your home, and looking just out through the bottom of the dome is at the height of the top of the crater, so all of them look out underneath the edge of the dome, so you look great off in the distance like being in Berkeley, on the side of Berkeley looking out over San Francisco Bay.
You look out and you don't see any other home at all. Once you are in your own home, privacy, you extrovert for your privacy and you introvert for public, which is what the Africans really love. I find their crowds so forth, always really feel the community, things in the center of a great circle, and you get on the outside for your privacy, so that they just loved the feel of it. After we got into it then we found that it was something you could build with earth-moving equipment, to build this kind of a mountain. And you first would build then an "A" really a very careful "A" frame like an enormous culvert that went around here, and you could build your earth up, and then your road making things would make your terraces and so forth. It gets to be very economically constructible, and then all the waters on the roof are going to all automatically come to a cistern and there is a great moat, actually, reservoir around the whole show it is very attractive that way.
Now, that is the main scheme, but I'll tell you the economics of it do look very, very promising. We're getting now where there is a possibility instead of having the dome go as a complete hat out to the outer rim, we are going to have the roof in the following form (Bucky draws again). Where the we'll have then a mast up here and it'll go out like this, like this, but also then in like this, balancing this gives very good engineering, and then we have really quite a small dome in here, this makes a very, very powerful structure, because these structures balance one another, become a cantilever very, very powerful. And it looks a little more desirable. Those are the kinds of things you study as you go along all the time.
But I think you'll all see Old Man River Project not so very far away. I think five years we might see this thing getting under way. Everything about it, the community, it was fascinating how much the community liked it. So the head of the present political leader of East St. Louis, used to be the head of the largest high school there, and he has proposed, and we are going to go ahead with this, getting my money to do this now. He wants to have a miniature one in the school yards, possibly about 50 feet in diameter where the kids can walk up the terraces and play on it. He said that the kids who were now in the schools are the ones who are going to be living in that city and they might as well start playing city right now, and he wants them to make their own models of the trees and so forth, so we're going to go ahead with that so that really will be simulated living which kids love to get into very, very much. And we find it tremendously interesting to young people in how you really do make the town work, and the city work. It's something that they didn't get asked into yesterday, but this feels very, very good to them.
Now, there are over 100,000 geodesic domes around the world. I they came, everyone got to use their first in pure emergency, like that dome the World's Fair Dome in Afghanistan, nothing else would do. They got to using the Radomes when nothing else would do. They got used in the Marine Corps projects when nothing else would do. They all got going, in the Ford Motor Company, nothing else would do. The engineers found they couldn't put a conventional building up, it didn't have the strength for it. So everyone of them got going when nothing else would do. And this is why I find then, the little individual doesn't have to go out and do any promoting. I said then, you only talk to people when they ask you to talk to them, but you find how your thing really works and be absolutely confident so that when people do ask you about it, you can really let it be known what it does, and then it will find its own way, it will sink in by itself synchronize in by itself.
So, I feel, I again am a living guinea pig of a little individual peeling off taking the economic initiative, without any money, and seeing whether he can carry on. I've given you a lot of my disciplines, and I have been able to get on. And, some very, very tight spots, but I've just tried to give you a few little feelings of things as they go along, but at all points I knew I was dealing with a 50-year program so I just never let myself feel discontented when things went wrong, I'm glad they went this far, if it was taken in a little, and you got a little farther, that's fine, because we're on our way, and we find out where the merits are, we find out a lot of things that are wrong, what we need to clean up the next time around to make it work.
The about the large number of geodesic domes now around the world, and there are a very large number of people manufacturing them now. And they are going to be manufacturing them a little better. And I've been trying to give you some insights into the there really are some new, completely new generations in geodesics are going to be coming out with the most beautiful kinds of hardware. I want you to anticipate that. What's gone up so far, a few of those projects are beautifully designed, but there are very, very many that are put up by the kids who are just getting something up and it works, and they are living there, and the kids are getting their own homes for under $1,000, and that's really wonderful.
We have a beautiful little dome now out in California called the Turtle Dome which is a complete water shed, and a lovely little thing. Only 14 feet in diameter, but you can, it's a 3/4 sphere, and I've had 29 students sitting in there very comfortably for a party having a tea party. And that dome comes apart in 11 minutes, you put it on top of the Volkswagen, and you know the weight is so negligible that it doesn't bother the top of the Volkswagen top at all, and put it up in another 15 minute when you get there. It is a completely water proof polyester fiberglass dome, and charming, with a, they have translucent hexagons and pentagons where they really put in the like stained glass windows. Very beautiful design. And that one is about $1,000 dome. And that's truly a lovely home.