Cultural
A large miniature landscape of villages and scenes, with many mechanical parts, model railways, hills and roads. Partly a stylized and idealized version of the typical landscape of Pennsylvania, with significant historical buildings modeled as well. Much of the model was built in the 1920s and 1930...
Museum for the U.S. Army arsenal, located on Rock Island, the largest federally-owned munitions plant in the nation. Displays of historical arsenal photos and weapons. Located in Building 60.
An extinct volcano, composed of red and black cinders, on the edge of the Painted Desert, which is being turned into a monumental work of land art by the artist James Turrell. The project has been under construction for over 25 years, since Turrell's acquisition of the crater in 1977. As of...
In addition to a two-car garage, each home in this planned community dating from the mid-eighties, has an airplane hangar connected to the runway of a small airport. While many of the residents are retirees with recreational pilots licenses, some of the residents do commute to work in their...
This was one of the largest SAC bomber bases in the country, known as Walker Air Force Base until 1967 when it was shut down. It is now a civilian airport known as the Roswell Industrial Air Center. During WWII it was called Roswell Army Airfield, and in 1947 it became famous for its involvement in...
A complex of above ground and underground buildings in remote southwest Montana, constructed by the religious organization known as the Church Universal and Trimphant (CUT), whose worldwide membership was once estimated at 30,000 to 50,000 people. In the late 1980's, leader Clare Prophet urged her...
A religious grotto and cave built by Father Philip J. Wagner. Started in the 1920's, work on the site continued until his death in 1959. The Cave of Wonder enters a thousand feet into a hill side, and while it is claustrophobic at times, it opens out into a two story chamber with a near life-size...
An open-pit mine, no longer in operation, that has been transformed into a tourist attraction. The pit has alcoves and tunnels reaching into the mountain, which tourists are encouraged to explore, though the main attraction seems to be the variety of minerals that can be found scattered around the...
Museum with information on the salt industry, concentrating on historical techniques and equipment employed in the region, a region which once supplied the nation with salt.
The current attempt at a Saltair-type resort is a structure built in 1982, using parts from an old airplane hangar trucked to the site from Hill Air Force Base. Soon after it was built, the rising lake levels flooded it, and a 1984 storm sent violent waves through the building. It sat partially...
Saltair, a grand Moorish pavilion in the best Victorian tradition, opened in 1893. The massive edifice sat out on the Great Salt Lake, on over 2,500 wooden pilings which were steam-driven into the mud. Over the years the resort grew, eventually including a 1,000-seat cafe, a roller coaster, and...
Salton City was a planned community, which never fully developed as intended. In the late 1950's, M. Penn Phillips and the Holly Corporation built 250 miles of suburban roads on a 19,000 acre site on the western edge of the Salton Sea. The Salton Bay Yacht Club and other resorts were popular, until...
Salvation Mountain is a hillside that has been painted and formed into a monumental sculpture, a terraced escarpment with religious symbols and messages. The three-story high, 100-foot wide construction was created by the late Leonard Knight (1931 - 2014) over more than a 10 year period from adobe...
Though the famous fault is visible at many places in California, this is an unusually illustrative road cut through the top strata of the fault, showing the contorted stratigraphy of the rock. It is on Highway 14, next to the tract homes of Palmdale.
Located in Balboa Park, this is one of the largest model railroad museums in the nation, with 27,000 square feet. It is home to five layouts by four local clubs, which range from detailed miniature versions of local railways, to imaginative fictional trainscapes. The HO Tehachapi Pass Exhibit, a...
This monument to the battle of San Jacinto is the tallest masonry column in the world. Built in 1939, it is more than 12 feet higher than the Washington Monument (which, according to Guinness, is the World's tallest obelisk at 555.427 feet ). Like the Washington Monument, this 567.31-foot tall...
A museum devoted to the indispensible building material, that "liquid rock," known as cement. The museum is located in a grouping of nine 19th century vertical cement kilns. These odd looking structures are the Schoefer Kilns, built in 1893 by David Saylor's company. Saylor was an Englishman who...
An unusually irreverent tourist cave, with tour guides that interpret the vague, bulbous natural cave formations in a subjective and entertaining manner. Next door to the highly developed and more traditional Howe Caverns.
The Security Trust and Savings Bank on Hollywood Boulevard was built in 1920 by the architectural firm of John and Donald Parkinson, creators of such Los Angeles landmarks as Union Station, Bullocks Wilshire, and the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange. It was one of the principal banks used by Hollywood...
The sandstone cliffs of Dublin Gulch, on the southwestern end of the remote desert town of Shoshone, were hollowed out into interconnected rooms that were used as homes in the early 1900s by miners and others (including the notorious Shorty Harris), until the 1970s.
A small Goshute Indian Reservation in Skull Valley, an isolated valley between Dugway Proving Ground and the West Desert Hazardous Industry Area. Seven households contain all of the approximately 30 Native Americans that live on the reservation, located a few miles south of Iosepa, the Polynesian...
A partially completed reclamation land art sculpture/park at an old landfill, built by Nancy Holt and the people of New York and New Jersey. Holt worked with the Meadowlands Development Commission in engineering the closure of the dump. According to the plan they developed, the 57-acre landfill was...
George Lucas' 4,700 acre film production center in the hills of Marin County has underground parking for its employees, a redwood paneled three-story Victorian main building, gift shop, baseball field, vineyard, technical building, restaurants, multiple screening rooms, and fire station.
Slab City is an assemblage of mostly recreational vehicles; a community that formed on its own without any apparent organizational force. Located on the site of Camp Dunlop, a former WWII Marine base situated at the edge of the Chocolate Mountains, an active bombing range in the Imperial Valley,...
Administrative headquarters for "the Nation's Museum", located in "The Castle," on the Mall. Built in 1855, this was the original structure that once held the entire museum, including the museum director and his family. It is now a visitor's center (a "museum of the museum") for the extended museum...
The mineral rich waters of Soap Lake, in central Washington, have been used for their curative properties for centuries. The lake is approximately 2 miles in area and around 70 feet deep.The region evolved into a tourist economy in the early 1900's, as resorts and sanitariums developed...
Richard Fleischner made this earthwork in 1974, on the grounds of the Chateau-sur-Mer, one of the preserved mansions in Newport, Rhode Island. The piece is a low, circular maze, made of mounded earth, about 18 inches high and covered in the same grass as the lawn of the mansion. The diameter of the...
A self-built, three-story, 12,000 square foot structure, that started out in 1972 as a private building project for the owner of the property, Howard Solomon, but which has turned into a tourist attraction. Numerous sculptures, a bell tower, a lighthouse, and a 60- foot galleon replica, home to the...
A tourist attraction if ever there was one, heralded by approximately 120 billboards along Interstate 95 between the Northeast and Florida. The 350-acre "Mexican"-themed roadside complex includes a motel, RV park, six restaurants, fourteen gift shops, a large fireworks store, a sombrero-topped...
Spiral Jetty is a basalt spiral 1500 feet long and 15 feet wide, which protrudes from the shore of the Great Salt Lake, on submerged land leased from the government. Given his preoccupation with entropy, it is fitting that each of the three existing earthworks designed by the artist Robert Smithson...