The dome city set to go up in a forest in Minnesota decades ago never became reality, but its story lives on the small screen for all to see.
The Experimental City, a MXC Films documentary released last year, tells the story of the dome city designed by Athelstan Spilhaus. According to BringMeTheNews.com, it would have been built on 75,000 acres in the Swatara Forest just south of Grand Rapids in the 1970s. After protests erupted, legislators cut off funding for the project in 1973, leaving the "laboratory for urban technology" to be just an interesting story read on the internet years later.
Had the dome city project come to fruition, it would have allowed researchers to study transportation, urban design, telecommunications, climate, education, healthcare, and energy and waste water treatment, according to the Minnesota Historical Society. The Smithsonian says Spilhaus anticipated the dome city to hold a population of 250,000 and would cost "$10 billion 1967 dollars," 80 percent of which would be privately funded.
Spilhaus was the former dean of the University of Minnesota's Institute of Technology and artist/author of the Our New Age comic strip, which was published in newspapers all over the country from the late 1950s to mid-1970s.