In September 2002, SIUC Emeritus H.F.W. 'Bill' Perk, colleague of Buckminster Fuller and owner of the Fuller Dome Home, donated the property at 407 S. Forest Avenue to RBF Dome NFP. Shortly thereafter we began working to make the RBF Dome Home Museum a legal reality.
Through our efforts, the Dome Home has been recognized as a Carbondale Historic Landmark.
In addition, we wrote a text amendment to the Carbondale R-1 Zoning ordinance that would allow us to use the Fuller Dome Home for receptions, as a meeting space, and a bed and breakfast.
Finally, we applied for and received a Special Use permit for the property to act as a home museum once the preservation effort is complete.
Having completed this groundwork, we then began the preservation effort. The first step was to have a Historic Structures Report (HSR) completed along with a Preservation Plan (PP).
With the HSR and PP in hand, we could determine how much money we would need to raise to complete the preservation. We sent out over 12 requests for bids to architectural firms around Illinois, and in the end chose Carbondale's own White & Borgognoni Architects.
Preservation of the dome will happen in three phases:
1. Preserve the dome structure to its original design integrity, which includes the roof, exterior doors, windows and siding.
2. Preserve the interior, including the ceiling, walls and trim, bathrooms, kitchen, balcony bookshelf, cork flooring, interior doors and frames.
3. Complete preservation and repairs to the concrete exterior sidewalk, steps and foundation.
Preserving the dome will cost an estimated $300,000. This includes construction materials and labor, professional consulting services and organizational staffing.
2013 - Restore the dome to its original condition.
2014 - Open the dome as a home museum, offering exhibits, tours and educational programming.
2015 - Launch the first Artist / Scholar-In-Residence Program.
2016 - Open the Buckminster Fuller Learning and Interpretive Center.
The geodesic dome is Buckminster Fuller’s most enduring legacy and Carbondale is its home. It is the only dome Bucky ever lived in and the only home he ever owned. It is also the prototype for all other dome homes that followed.
Bucky’s home is undeniably a precious historical treasure and preserving it will have far-reaching positive effects, both locally and globally. Restoration will provide another needed education and tourism resource to the city of Carbondale. Most importantly, it will ensure that we can embrace and share our unique cultural and intellectual heritage.
In February 2006, Fuller’s Dome Home was added to the National Registry of Historic Places. Given its unique role in Bucky's life, the Fuller Dome in Carbondale is possibly the most important Buckminster Fuller artifact remaining in the world today.
Intended to increase awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of historic sites, structures, and landscapes throughout the United States, The Holland Prize recognizes the best single-sheet measured drawing of an historic building, site, or structure prepared by an individual(s) to HABS/HAER/HALS standards and guidelines.
The recipient of this year's first prize is none other than Thad Heckman, Architect, and Vice President of the R. Buckminster Fuller and Anne Hewlett Dome Home Not-For-Profit Organization in Carbondale, Illinois.