645-Arcosanti, AZ

Arcosanti is an experimental town that began construction in 1970 in central Arizona, 70 miles north of Phoenix. Architect Paolo Soleri, using a concept he calls arcology (a portmanteau of architecture and ecology), started the town to demonstrate how urban conditions could be improved while minimizing the destructive impact on the earth.

The goal of Arcosanti is to explore the concept of arcology, which combines architecture and ecology. The town aims to combine the social interaction and accessibility of an urban environment with sound environmental principles such as minimal resource use and access to the natural environment.

Having begun construction in 1970, the town is still very much a work in progress. The population varies between 50-150 people, based on the number of students and volunteers on the site, but ultimately the town is intended to hold 5000 people. Currently there are 13 major structures on the site, of at most several stories in height, but the master plan envisions a massive complex, called Arcosanti 5000, that would dwarf the current buildings. (all of this was stolen from the web).

Okay, enough of the hype (all stolen from the web). I have always wanted to visit this place after hearing about it 35 years ago. I should have gone then. Arcosanti has fallen on hard times and you can imagine what a poorly maintained concrete structure can look like after this many years. I drove over an hour to get there and stayed about 20 minutes. This is an old hippie nest that unfortunately will not achieve the goals of its creator.

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645-Arcosanti2They cast bronze bells to fund the facility. They are great bells. I bought one.