This strange property is locally referred to as the Geo-Dome, short for “Geodesic dome”. People who can remember it before it’s current coat of paint often called it the “R2D2” building. Due to its former resemblance to the robotic character from the Star Wars movies. However; this building is neither an homage to R2D2 or one of Buckminsterfuller's famous dome designs.
It was actually a rocket scientist's expanded polystyrene laboratory... Yes, you heard me right this thing is made of styrofoam; we’ll get to the rocket science portion in a moment. While this sounds strange to many westerners, it’s a common building material in places such as; Asia. In fact, the material is preferred in Japan for its durability against earthquakes and water. While in the US we are familiar with this material as packing peanuts or disposable coffee cups. We see it as a material to avoid using for major construction because it does not biodegrade and releases carcinogens if burned.
The building has sat dormant since approximately 2012. Some of the neighbors said that someone lives there and I don’t doubt it. However; it does say it is for lease as an office space. But this doesn’t mean it is not owner-occupied or sublet to someone for the time being.
This property has been many things ranging from a church to an apartment. However; it was primarily used as office space for the “Astrox Corporation”. Which is a privately owned professional engineering company, from College Park Maryland. In other words, it was a group of programmers and rocket scientists. Their website states that they are headquartered in Maryland, with “an office” in Colorado. However; the more substantial structure of the two was the dome and the headquarters is a home address in the North East. That said; Bloomberg estimates Astrox as having an annual revenue of $500,000 to $1 million and employs a staff of only 1 to 4 people. In-fact the company was known in the aerospace and aviation industry for its work on “air-breathing jets”. The revenue is largely due to the president and founder of the company, Dr. Ajay P. Kothari. Who received large federal research grants. Grants that can be verified up until 2012. However; no business under this name was ever registered with the Colorado Secretary of State. The company still operates a website, but it does not seem to be actively maintained. The company name appears as “Astrox Crop” on long and vague national research studies and publicly available email threads dating back to 1985.
Dr. Kothari is a very accomplished individual. He holds advanced degrees and has worked on a number of projects for NASA, the armed forces, and McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing). He is active in many organizations and periodically writes articles.
We are left to wonder a lot about this building. With so much success on paper, why is it left in this condition?
Photos from the day:
This is a collection of media from lost and abandoned corners of the world.