...it was a welding operation during the maintenance of the outer covering, on May 20, 1976, that caused the spectacular fire which destroyed the entire acrylic shell in just half an hour, although the structure itself remained intact. After the fire, the dome was more or less abandoned for fifteen years...
A couple of us went there one morning after an all nighter. It was just a few days later. It was the most bizarre thing I had ever seen. It wasn't pitch black but did have what could only be scorchmarks all over it. And it was what it would be for another 15 years or so. Was a pretty cool abandonment as far as they go. Of course, there was no point in trying to hide if the cops came around. Lots of student films were shot in the shell. The "covering" was just glass.
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