Of Tricentennials and Tetrons

10 thoughts on “Of Tricentennials and Tetrons”

  1. Since you and I are the same age, I remember this, too. Living in Charleston, we were excited about Charlestowne Landing and our Girl Scout troop even did a play at the pavilion during the opening of Charlestowne landing. I liked the pavilion and its historic displays, but the geodesic dome always seemed out of place. I have been to Charlestowne Landing since those two structures have been removed, and it is much more natural and historic without those two jarring architectural anachronisms.

  2. TC Howard of Synergetics, Inc designed all three sites , not Buckminster Fuller. And the two domes were Charter-Sphere Domes, not geodesic domes. The Tetron was flawed from the start and was never completed due to the manufacturing flaws. –

      1. I was lucky enough to visit all three sites during the time of the celebrations. I remember my dad saying that the cube on Roper Mountain could not be completed because the sheer weight of the material would have caused the structure to collapse. Looked good on paper, but there was no way to get a small corner of the cube to handle the entire weight of the structure.
        We used to visit Charles Townes Landing every summer and I remember after Hurricane Hugo, the underground museum was buried by the surge of mud and debris left by the storm. We were told there were no plans to reopen the museum, but I’m curious to know if that changed.
        I think I may have photos or slides from our visits to the parks if you are interested.

  3. I went to Eastside High School in Taylors. After the site was closed, my friends and I would sneak around the fencing (in our cars) and drive up to the closed building. We scaled up to the second floor windows, and found one open. We spent a year or two having parties inside the condemned building. Power was still on, and we had lights. All of us would meet up there on weekends, enter the building and party away all night. Never got caught. There were conveyor belts with textile items that would rotate around the ceiling, and we would latch on and ride around!
    What a teenage memory!

  4. I appreciate you writing this up. I was looking for information on the geodesic cube in Greenville. I’m quite close by at the moment, revisiting the area after very many years.

    I remember the dome. We visited when I was a kid, and I remember that the construction could not be completed in time for the exposition. It still looked quite neat, and I was hoping to see it completed some day.

    Now I back, and was unable to see any hint of it sticking up over the tree line. I was glad to find your writeup confirming it was demolished. Still sad though. It was a great looking design.

  5. This article was just posted on a related FB page. Very interesting. I had no idea about the three sites. Living in Columbia my school class went to the Hampton-Preston Mansion and I remember the domes. As a volunteer docent now for Historic Columbia I always explain about them and our Tricentennial Celebrations when our visitors see the pictures.

  6. In 1970 I was in the Navy and just docked at the yard. Looking for something to do I drove around ending up at the Charlestowne Landing where the big open-air museum was. An older fellow in a suit walked up to me and began chatting. I was not in uniform. we talked about twenty minutes. Not long after I discovered the man was Mendel Rivers and was at the podium giving a dedication speech. I had no idea this was a special day, a special place, or that I was speaking to a special man. I have since tried to find out where this all was but, as you say, there is scant information available. Thanks for posting.

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