Abandoned Places, Casa Grande, Arizona
Casa Grande Domes (Thorton Domes)
When I originally visited the domes the fences had been torn down, all signs were covered with graffiti and the domes were littered with debris. The ceiling was in the process falling in most locations with large cracks and holes in the roofs.
The domes were constructed in the early 80s to build circuit boards used in all types of equipment ranging from quartz watches to large computers. The original site had 135 acres and the plant would have used 10 acres. The shells or domes were constructed by pouring three inches of polyurethane followed by three inches of concrete against a balloon inside, held up by a steel skeleton. At the time each dome cost about $150,000 and construction took about six weeks for each. The domes were constructed for insulation efficiency and lower costs and construction time.
InnerConn Technologies defaulted on a loan from Union Bank of California in 1983. The bank became owner of the InnerConn property in California and later the harmful chemical trichloroethylene was discovered in groundwater beneath that site. The Domes had been an illegal dump site for years. Today the site is owned by Simplicity Communications Inc. out of Case Grade and is for sale for $750,000.