Drop City

In 1965 a group of four friends decided to drop out of society and set up shop in the middle of nowhere in nowhere in Trinidad, Colorado.  And so Drop City was created…

Gene Bernofsky (“Curly”), JoAnn Bernofsky (“Jo”), Richard Kallweit (“Lard”) and Clark Richert (“Clard”) were a bunch of recently graduated art students, and the creators of a little known movement called “Drop Art.”  Inspired by the happening of Allan Kaprow, and the impromptu performances of John CageRobert Rauschenberg and Buckminster Fuller,  their art this consisted of finding all sorts of random objects – rocks, mattresses, shoes – and dropping them from roofs to watch the reactions of passerby below.  Drop Art indeed!

After graduating the friends decided to create the ultimate piece of drop art, Drop City. They began to build it themselves, but soon underground hippies, artists, and weirdos from all over the country came to help create what is considered one of the first hippie communes.  They constructed domes and zonohedra to house themselves, using geometric panels made from the metal of automobile roofs and other inexpensive materials. In 1967 the group won Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion award for their constructions.

The First Dome, Curl Dome, 1965

Curl Dome after a paint job

The Hole, a two story building built partially underground

The Complex, Drop City's largest building

Cartop Dome and Theatre Building, total cost ... $7

Cartop Dome interior

The Icosadome, 1965. The first kitchen pantry, and later the chicken coop

The Kitchen Dome

Clark Richert and Carol DiJulio

The Rabbit Dome

The Theater Dome

By 1968 Drop City was abandoned by its creators, and the majority of its twelve inhabitants.  In the 1990s the last of the domes was disassembled, and all that remains today are remnants and debris from the first of the hippie/artist communes.

If you want to learn more check out “Curly’s” memoirs, or read T.C. Boyle’s book, Drop City, and check out the yet-unreleased documentary on the settlement.

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