8 August 2014

Buckminster Fuller and l'Île Sainte-Hélène, Montréal, Québec

Ten years ago I spent a short time researching for my PhD at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, a delightful small town with a very low crime rate but no particular 'tourist attractions'. Apart, that is, from the geodesic dome in which Buckminster Fuller lived from 1960 to 1971 while he was at the university.

I didn't know that during his stay in Carbondale Fuller – affectionately known as 'Bucky' also designed the dome for Expo 67, the 1967 World’s Fair, which was held on the Parc des Îles (now l'Île Sainte-Hélène) in Montréal. The United States's pavilion – one of the fair's greatest attractions – was the symbol of it and the USA gave it to Montréal the following year.

In 1976 a fire destroyed the dome's acrylic covering, which was not replaced. Montréal's Biosphere is now a museum dedicated to the environment.

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