Saturday, June 15, 2013
The Hilton Hawaiian Village is a hotel that was built on the island of Oahu in 1957. Today it is one of the largest hotels in the world, and is still the largest in the Hilton chain of hotels.
But we're here to talk about geodesic domes! Contrary to popular belief, Buckminster Fuller did not invent the geodesic dome. But he did refine the mathematics behind the design of such structures, making them more practical and affordable.
The Hawaiian Village was home to one of the first domes, commissioned by Henry Kaiser (of Kaiser Aluminum fame) to be used as an auditorium. The dome's parts were manufactured at the Kaiser company's plant in Oakland, California, and shipped to Hawaii. Kaiser wanted to observe the construction, but when he arrived from San Francisco, the dome was already finished! Turns out it only took 22 hours to build.
I love the miniature golf course in the foreground! Notice the blood on the guillotine in this 1964 photo.
The dome was 144 feet wide and just under 50 feet high, and was renowned for its excellent acoustics. Apparently many famous "Exotica" albums were recorded there, including most of Arthur Lyman's albums. It was also used for the premiere of Mike Todd's "Around the World in 80 Days". And Don Ho performed there!
Sadly, the Hilton Dome was torn down in 1999.