Thursday, May 26, 2016

Arcosanti: Museum Anniversary Open House


In 1970 an unusual experimental town was constructed and named “Arcosanti”.  Arcosanti is located about 70 miles north of Phoenix and was built using a concept called, arcology.  This principal combined architecture and ecology and developed to show how a town can “demonstrate how urban conditions could be improved while minimizing the destructive impact of the earth.  The town aims to combine principles such as minimal resource use and access to the natural environment.”

Arcrosanti was constructed as a tentative town and located on 25 acres of land preserve.  With the most current structure completed in 1989, this site housed around 50 to 150 inhabitants who were either students or volunteers living on this location.  There are 13 buildings which are quite a few stories high and include a visitors’ center, café, gift shop, a bronze-casting apse, a ceramics apse, two large barrel vaults, a ring of apartment residences, and various stores.  All these places surround an outdoor amphitheater, a community swimming pool, an office complex, and Soleri’s suite which is a two-story “Sky Suite” at the highest point of the complex.  This space is reserved for overnight guests.

“Many features are particular to the design and construction of Arcosanti, for example the use of tilt-up concrete panels that are cast in a bed of silt acquired from the surrounding area, which gives the concrete a unique texture and colour and helps it blend in with the landscape. Many of the panels were cast with embedded art. Most of the buildings are oriented toward the south to capture the sun's light and heat — with roof designs that admit the maximum amount of sun in the winter and a minimal amount during the summer. For example, the bronze-casting apse is built in the form of a quarter sphere or semi-dome. The layout of the buildings is intricate and organic, rather than a North American style city grid, with a goal of maximum accessibility to all of the elements, increased social interaction and bonds, and a sense of privacy for the residents.” (Wikipedia)

Today, Arcosanti contains its own greenhouses, gardens, and agricultural fields.  The place has workshops and classes where students from all over come to participate in.  There are plans to build more structures such as a large-scale building which will be the biggest one in the town.  Present day construction is done by workshop participants and volunteers. People visiting the bizarre settlement can take a guided tour or spend the night in one of the guest housings.  Arcosanti sales metal and ceramic bells made from the bronze located in the town and donations/fees for the workshops taught there to keep it going.

Sharon and I will be there on Saturday, June 11th at the 10 year anniversary for the museum.  We will be selling and signing our books.  We would love to meet you if you can come.  Here is the press release:

High Desert Heritage Museum holds Anniversary Open House – Everyone Welcome!

Cordes Junction, Arizona, May 10, 2016. The High Desert Heritage Museum, Inc. will celebrate a double anniversary on Saturday, June 11, 2016. June marks the tenth anniversary since the Museum was established and the second anniversary at its present physical location in Cordes Junction, Arizona.

Guest speakers for the event include Sharon Day and Julie Ferguson, co-authors of “Abandoned Places, Abandoned Memories” of the desert. Julie Ferguson is the author of “Arizona’s Back Roads: A Guide to Ghosts, Outlaws and Miners.” A book signing will follow the presentation.

Prescott guitarist and singer Paul T. Morris will provide entertainment (sponsored by Yavapai County Supervisor Pam Pearsall), and CEO Jeff Stein of the Cosanti Foundation/Arcosanti will MC the festivities.

The Open House will be held from 11am-1pm and will include free brats, sauerkraut, potato salad and dessert. There will also be a raffle of donated craft items by local artisans and a 50/50 raffle. Raffle tickets will be $1 each or 6 for $5. Everyone is welcome.

The High Desert Heritage Museum is located at 19600 East Stagecoach Trail in Cordes Junction, Arizona across from the Family Dollar store. The Museum also houses the High Desert Tourist Information Center that serves thousands of travelers a year from all over the world.

Contact:
Cliff Hersted cjhdvic@gmail.com 19600 E. Stagecoach Trail
Cordes Junction, Arizona 86333 Phone: 928-273-5413

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