Wholeo Dome geodesic tube frame at The Farm EcoHostel 2017

Wholeo Dome geodesic tube frame, 2017

Wholeo Dome, Fall 2017

When people at The Farm removed Wholeo Dome from The Farm School, I followed the process online. But I had not seen it on the ground. On September 9, with Hurricane Irma forecast to travel up the west side of the Florida peninsula, I decided to make a trip to The Farm as enhanced evacuation, going to see friends rather than running from the storm.

Albert Bates

Racks with foam cradles holding the stained glass panels of Wholeo Dome

Since part of the community were concerned with possible lead poisoning from the leaded stained glass structure, the dome was deconstructed and the parts moved to storage. The place was and still is a corner in the lower floor donated at EcoHostel by director Albert Bates. He was my first contact with The Farm in 2003 and remains a great supporter of Wholeo Dome.

A team of volunteers constructed a rack with space for over 100 panels. Each panel was placed on a custom built foam shell (or cradle) reinforced with foil and chicken wire.

Seeing the site for the first time impressed me with the care and tremendous effort put into keeping Whole Dome safe until it can be resurrected. After all the panels had been removed, they did not take the dome frame apart. Since it is bolted at each node, it is made to come apart. But I had glued some bolts to ensure they weren't removed by children or vandalized. I suppose the light rigid structure was easy to move to a grassy slope, I think a roof of an experimental stucture. There it sees the light of day, out of harms' way.

Marilyn Harris Group of Farm people planning to repair and rebuild Wholeo Dome on a new site at The FarmFast forward to 2017. Marilyn Harris has assumed leadership of the project to repair Wholeo Dome and find a new and better site for it on The Farm. It must meet the concerns of lead and glass. I met with Marilyn and three other volunteers who want to see Wholeo Dome up in a new and better place. Marilyn has invested in a greenhouse for a studio and workshop. Soon they plan to approach the community for input and to make sure everyone is in sync on the project.

It has a long way to go and I wish them the best.

See also our trip to Rickey Turner's stained glass studio.

 

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