Quoted From A Fellow Traveler:

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile. Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Arcosanti Paolo Soleri Visit

Arcosanti represents Dr. Soleri's concept for a habitat that would house and support a community of 5,000 people with respect to living, commerce, recreation, living, and entertainment. It's quarter-century old work-in-progress.Located two and one-half miles down a washboard-like dirt road, this post-millennium urban vision doggedly, resolutely moves forth into being. Started in 1970, during what some might argue to be the end of an idealistic era, the construction of Arcosanti has been, in a word, slow.
At the present stage of construction, Arcosanti consists of a series of mixed-use buildings and public spaces constructed by 4,000 past workshop participants. Each year more than 60 full-time residents host 80,000 visitors in the Gallery, Café and Bakery. Additionally, they produce nearly 15,000 windbells in the Foundry and Ceramic Studios, conduct educational seminars for over 400 people, while being involved in the ongoing construction of the project.
Guided tours are conducted regularly, at a cost of $10 per person. Dr. Soleri has written six books and numerous essays and monographs all of which can be seen and or purchased at the gift shop.

We arrived at Arcosanti in time to take the Tour in progress. I found the complex to be a project gone bad but what do I know! Whereas the structure was started in the 1970's, the buildings are old and in need of repair. The idea was to grow the community to approximately 5000 people but they are only averaging about 100. It reminded me of a modern day Hippy commune. There are 60 full time people living at the complex, and some with small children.

In this picture, I am looking down at the Bakery / Diner from a balcony above.
Just a view of the yards.
This domed area is used for the construction of ceramic bells. One of the young girls working, stated that she has committed to ceramic work for one year. Some of the construction crew actually paid to work on the complex.
Another area within the complex.
These large glass doors can be opened for access to an indoor garden? All the plants were dead and dried up like they have been there for months.
This is a shot of one of the living quarters. They also looked to be run down and in need of repair.
This area had good acoustics and seemed to be used for entertainment but now it was being used as a play area for small children.
Another amphitheater that was suppose to have a waterfall that fed a mote around the stage.
Same area as viewed from the other side.
In this picture you can see the field where blue corn is to be planted. You can also see the corner of the community swimming pool.
This area is the foundry where the bronze bells are made.
As we return, we ended up in the gift shop which contained bells, bells, and more bells. This bell below is casted bronze and aluminum and is about five feet high; price, $1500.00
This is a model of what the finished complex is suppose to look like. Note the dark gray structures in the middle of the model represent the present day complex.
I must say that the Soleri Bells are beautiful and each design has it's own specific sound. If you look close, you can see that the bells are a little pricey but being of solid bronze I'm sure that they are worth it.
So now for my comment on Arcosanti, it reminds me of Biosphere 2 but on a different level. I really don't see how Arcosanti will ever become what it was meant to be.
Tomorrow we are on the road again, heading for Roswell, NM but will probably take us three or four days to get there. Who knows what new adventure is waiting for us around the next corner.
And in closing, I want to let everyone know that we have been having problems with our Yahoo e-mail. We can receive e-mail but cannot always reply or compose e-mail. Yahoo has been working to fix this problem but who knows how long it will take.

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