The 4 Domes oklahoma, a geodesic dome in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is a Route 66 landmark. It was built in 1958 and located at NW 23rd Street and North Classen Boulevard. It’s listing on the National register of Famous Places was approved in 2002.

Design of 4Domes Oklahoma

Citizens State Bank began construction the 4 Dome building was the fifth dome globally and the first to be used as a bank. It has remained defined as “one of the most revolutionary banking models in the country”. Futurist architect Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome design, Citizens State Bank, Bailey, Bozalis, Dickinson and Roloff architects of Oklahoma City created this unusual Oklahoma landmark. The dome consists of 625 panels of varying sizes ranging from 7.5 to 11.5 feet (3.5 m) in length, each weighing 60 to 70 pounds and 145 feet (44 m) in diameter. The interior is approximately 27,000 square feet.1 The Gold Dome Bank represent an investment of roughly $1 million.

History of 4domes Oklahoma

The Oklahoma City government pursued a new zoning area along NW 23rd Street, including where the 4Dome is located, to preserve the unique architecture and “commercial character” of NW 23rd Street. 23rd Street is a sandwich between the Paseo and Jefferson Park Urban Preservation Districts to the north and the Mesta Park and Heritage Hills Historic Preservation Districts to the south. The new zoning area would require property owners to obtain approval from a design. Review board before demolishing or altering any building in the area.

In July 2001, Bank One, owner of the 4Dome building, applied to the Urban Design Commission for permission (the result of a 1998 effort) to demolish the building. The bank said the structure was too large to be use as a bank and would be too expensive to restore (Bank One estimate the cost would be around $1.7 million). The bank intended to trade the property to Walgreens, which would pit the new pharmacy against competitor Eckerd.

A group organized to save the 4Dome, Citizens for the 4Dome, has appealed to the Chairman of Bank One. It urges him to demolish the building not only out of respect for its single history and contribution to the “urban charm” of OKC but also to request landmark zoning from the OKC’s Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission and apply for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

4domes Oklahoma Observatory

4domes Oklahoma Observatory

The observatory consists of 4 domes: three 4 meter domes with 50 cm fast Newtonian astrographs and one 5.5 meter dome with a 1-meter Ritchey-Chrétien telescope. In addition, three metal containers are measuring 6 x 2.5 meters on the observatory territory.

  • Residential container with air-conditioned bedroom and bathroom
  • Workshop container with tools and equipment for the technical service of the observatory
  • Electric power tank with electric batteries, electric generator and electric controls for solar panels.
  • A metal fence with gates and two IP cameras for surveillance of the territory surrounds the observatory.
  • Solar panel section with 70 efficient solar panels

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Power of 4Domes Oklahoma

As we are far from the nearest civilization, we decided to operate a fully self-contained energy system based on solar energy. The observatory’s hybrid (solar and diesel) power supply system must work 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. The system parameters were chosen between the minimum use condition of the diesel generator and the minimum price of the system.

Diesel is only allow to run when there is no sunshine for more than a day or when the solar power supply system is completely cut off. In a typical operation, the observatory uses electricity from the photovoltaic modules during the day or the batteries at night. The batteries are charge during the day. As a result, the observatory consumes approximately 39 kWh of electricity per day; Container auxiliary units (e.g. air coolers) consume less than 24 kWh during the day when it is hot.

Therefore, the maximum consumption in summer (December) does not exceed 63 kWh, and in winter (July), no more than 40 kWh since no air cooling is necessary. Nighttime consumption peaks at around 30 kWh per day and are independent of the season. The equipment requires electricity with a voltage of 230 V and a frequency of 50 Hz. Therefore, the calculated total load of the observatory is 5.1 kW, and the maximum power (starting the motors) is ten kVA.

Construction of 4Dome Oklahoma Observatory

The four towers for domes are all of the metal construction (metal structures cover with sheets). We chose this design for the low thermal inertia of the entire building. All towers are electrically ventilate with powerful fans to achieve a minimal temperature gradient before and during viewing sessions. The 4-meter dome is a two-story building, and also, the 5.5-meter crown is a three-story building. All electronic and electrical components are on the lower level. The top plane of the telescope is thermally insulate to prevent thermal swimming from affecting the view.

The Internet

The Internet connection is based on a broadcast channel and also, has a speed of up to 30 Mbt/s. The nearest directional radio station is within sight (about 5 km), so no big deal.


All four domes were manufacture and also, install through ScopeDome, Poland. The domes adapt perfectly to the telescope’s geometry, except for the 5.5-meter dome for the 1-meter telescope. During the 3D modelling, we examined that there is a vignette at the zenith position of the telescope. Scope Dome has developed tailor-made protection to enlarge the observatory’s opening at the zenith, so there is no longer a thumbnail.

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