2011 Dome Tour Declared “Best Ever!”


They’re still cheering at Monolithic. Thanks to the cooperation and work of domers scattered across America and a healthy media response, this year’s Tour was a big success. Here’s what we’re hearing from our participants: 

The Clarks in Ann Arbor, Michigan  

The press release Carol, our publicist, sent to the Ann Arbor News caught the eye of a reporter who was “always curious about that house.” He did a feature story about the Clarks’ Monolithic Dome home that appeared in print and online. 

But the print version gave Sunday, instead of Saturday, as the Tour day. That little boo-boo forced the Clarks to be available for two days of touring! “But” said Gary, “that turned into a blessing. We had 150 people on Saturday and another 75-100 on Sunday, including nine prospective buyers.” 

And since the Clarks want to sell and move to Texas, they were very happy to talk with the visitors who are interested in buying their dome-home. 

The Cherrys in Sedona, Arizona  

Visitors turned out in droves to tour Xanadu in Sedona, one of the most extraordinary Monolithic Dome homes in the nation. Thanks in part to  media coverage in local newspapers, The View and the Camp Verde Bugle and television coverage from the local Fox News affiliate, more than 700 people turned out for the open house. “People started showing up before 11, and it was a steady stream until we closed our doors at 6 p.m.,” said Xanadu owner Bracken Cherry.  

People traveled from Phoenix, Flagstaff, Prescott and Cottonwood to tour the 10 domes that make up Xanadu. The home has been featured on numerous national home shows including HGTV’s “World’s Most Extreme Homes,” The Travel Channel’s “Amazing Vacation Homes,” and MTV’s “Extreme Cribs.” “It was a great turn out. We had a good time and they had a good time,” Cherry said. “They loved the place, and everyone left smiling.”  

The Standleys in Henderson, Texas  

At their split level Sunshine Dome, Kathy and Jerry Standley had 32 people, some from the Austin area and a couple from Iowa. Jerry said, "It went very well. The coverage in the Henderson Daily News was very nice. We enjoyed doing it, ran the DVD and gave out lots of dome flyers.

Glenna Crockett in Mesa, Arizona  

Glenna’s Yorkie Dome is a three-level Monolithic Dome, built in 2007, with a diameter of 42 feet and a height of 25 feet. Its second level is an open play area and the third features a lookout cupola. Glenna posted flyers announcing the Tour at her church, library, stores and on Facebook. She also posted signs with directional arrows two days prior to the Tour. Her efforts resulted in ten couples, all very interested in Monolithic Domes, with whom she shared her experience and thoughts about living in a dome.

In an email, Glenna wrote, “About a month or so ago a TV station from Japan/Korea contacted me and filmed my dome. I tried to get a copy of the DVD but no luck yet. Also on Sunday after the Tour, I was contacted by a writer from the Dome Times, and he is going to write my dome story.”

Eula Henderson in Arlington, Texas  

Eula has a cozy Monolithic Dome home with a diameter of 28 feet and a living area of just 612 square feet. She said, “We had a real nice crowd; 78 signed our guest book, and we were kept busy most of the day talking to people.”

Thanks to Eula’s efforts, the press release sent to the Hutchinson News did get published. On the Thursday before the Tour, Eula noticed that her local paper was not carrying anything about the Tour. She called the paper, learned that they had lost the press release and emailed a copy of it to them. They got it in and that brought about 90% of the visitors.

Eula said, “I was very glad that I had requested the info from Carol and had it on hand or I may not have been able to get it in the paper in time. Then I think it would have been a boring day. Most of the people loved the dome and thought there was a lot more room inside than appeared from the outside.” 

She had a “few groups that were really interested and one gentleman who was interested in a cabin as a hunting lodge.” 

The Spurgeons in Azle, Texas  

Christine and Jim’s Claddagh Dome is a two-story Monolithic Dome, with a stemwall encased in brick and a white metal roof. Christine said that this year’s Tour went well. They had 18 adult visitors. Three groups were interested in building a dome home. Others came after seeing articles in the Azle News.

“The local guests were very surprised at the way the dome looked on the inside,” Christine said. “None imagined that the dome could be so beautiful, homey and much larger then it appears from the exterior. The guests who are looking into building a dome asked many questions and now really want to make their next home a dome. It was a good day and the weather was wonderful.”

The Mudds in Dighton, Kansas  

The Mudd Puddle Dome on the Prairie is the 4900-square-foot, Monolithic Dome home of Kay and Ernest Mudd. About the Tour, Kay said, "We had a very nice day with clear skies and temps in the 70s. Twenty-nine people came. Twenty-five were thanks to the article in the Scott County Record – mostly just people curious about the house. Four were a family from Missouri who want to build a 47-foot dome with an attached, mostly glass geodesic. Their floor plan is very similar to ours so they wanted to be inside to see if they needed to change anything on their plan and to get a feel for being in a dome.

“The comments we got were all positive and several older people wished they were younger to build one; some of the younger ones hope they will.”

The Irelands in Lake Charles, Louisiana

Betsy and David Ireland own Ode to Rita, a Monolithic Dome home with a 20-foot diameter and 314 square feet. Betsy told us that they had only one visitor, but it was a goody. Their local TV station, KPLC, came out and “that went well. Everyone who saw the newscast was very interested.”

The Smiths in Orange, Texas

Just completed this October, Cecilia and David’s dome-home is 45′ × 18′ and has three bedrooms, two baths and a loft. For the Tour, David said, “I had one couple to visit and two friends and they loved it. The couple said they want to build a 10-30 this summer. Fox 4 of Beaumont came and did an interview and aired it Saturday night.” 

Mark Sweet in Opal, Wyoming  

Mark’s Monolithic Dome has a 40-foot diameter, an interesting outer cover, windows outlined with clay tile and a large entryway with a two-step tile roof. Unfortunately, the date of our Tour clashed with opening day of elk season – a big thing in Wyoming. Mark said that he had only three couples, but he feels that made his participation worthwhile.

The Katners in Polo, Illinois

In an email, Ari wrote, "The dome tour was amazing – we didn’t have a break the entire time!!!! There were people waiting outside at 9:45 a.m. and people trickling in still after 4:30 p.m. We probably had at least 10 people in the house at all times asking us questions. Neither Ben nor I were able to even stop and eat lunch or use the bathroom or anything!!!! (Which was okay with us; we were happy it was a success.) We pretty much ran on adrenaline the whole time. We had 5 people who were planning on building  a dome in the near future come in, and one of them even brought us a gift of a mum plant as a thank you for opening our home – she was so excited. One couple even drove from 5 1/2 hours away. Most people who came saw us in the paper or on Monolithic.com, and there were some locals too who were just curious. I think next year we will have a guest book for people to sign so we can get an accurate count, but we estimated 100 or more. The flyers you sent us with dome info were gone by noon!!!    Thanks for your help in making the dome tour a success by advertising for us.

Monolithic Headquarters in Italy, Texas  

Thanks to the press release sent to and published by the Dallas Morning News, Monolithic had 110 visitors. Local radio station KBEC was also there with a live remote, interviewing both Monolithic personnel and the tourists. 

Thank You!  

David South, president of Monolithic, said, “We sincerely appreciate the many, many efforts of our Tour participants. The Annual Tour is one of our most productive tools for spreading the word about our domes. Thank you.”

Anne Sutherland, tour coordinator, said, “Thank you, one and all! I’m grateful for your friendly, unselfish cooperation and willingness to devote time and effort to this project. If you have suggestions for how we might improve the Tour, please let me know.”