A Necessary Ruin
A filmmaker explores the rise, decline, and eventual demolition of a once highly regarded architectural masterpiece.
The year was 1958. Renowned inventor and futurist Buckminster Fuller unveils his revolutionary architectural masterpiece, the Union Tank Car Maintenance Facility dome, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At 384 feet in diameter and 128 feet in height, it was then the world’s largest clear span–an engineering marvel that served as a majestic example of the world to come.
The year was 2007. Neglected and devoid of any progressive plans, the once proud geodesic dome now stood still, weathered and unused. After drafts of plans to use the Union Tank Car dome have all but failed, railroad company Kansas City Southern proceeded to raze it to the ground, a move declared as “a real loss to the architectural community.”