Buckminster Dome Home named historic landmark district

By Gus Bode

Carbondale City Council officializes it at its Tuesday meeting

Artists and architects usually see the world in two-dimensional renderings and three-dimensional reality. But R. Buckminster Fuller, creator of the dome home at 407 S. Forest, saw the world in a unique, four-dimensional geometry.

“It wasn’t like he was a home designer,” said Cornelius Crane, president of the society dedicated to the preservation of the Buckminster dome. “He was trying to show how his geometry worked.”


The R. Buckminster and Anne Hewlett Fuller Dome Home, at the corner of Forest and Cherry streets, officially became a Carbondale historic landmark district Tuesday night during the Carbondale City Council Meeting in the Student Center Ballroom B.

However, Crane said the RBF-dome NFP, a not-for-profit organization, does not plan to stop with Carbondale. The group hopes to make Carbondale’s dome home a national historical landmark. Crane said they hope the dome home will eventually become a United Nations international historical landmark.

“We also want to create inside the dome a mini museum to chronicle the time ‘Bucky’ had in Carbondale and create a sort of photographic and audio history,” Crane said.

The dome home in Carbondale is the only one of its kind ever occupied by Bucky and his wife, Anne, although during much of the 11 years the couple occupied the dome, Bucky was away, making Anne the main occupant. Bucky came to the University in 1959 as an appointed research professor. In 1968, he headed the Fuller projects until moving for an appointment at SIU-Edwardsville.

Crane said the RBF dome NFP hopes to focus on Anne, a lesser-know and vital part of the Buckminster dome.

“Since Bucky wasn’t there, we’re going to focus a bit on Anne,” he said. “We’re going to focus on her home life and her contributions to his ability to do what he did.”

Crane said advances are still being made in dome-home technology, as stronger, lighter-weight materials are being created and utilized for the half-sphere homes, like the mono-hex, which Crane said looks like a waffle ball. But even the original dome home was much more thermally efficient, using 33 percent less material than the average home.


Reporter Katie Davis can be reached at [email protected]