Cultural
The old A-1 Tow Yard near Barstow was the location of the Tired Iron Museum, a display of homemade terminator vehicles built by Ed and Greg Parker. The Parker family owned and operated an auto repair and towing shop here, and created these functional desert art cars mostly out of breakdowns and...
A partially constructed pyramid, which has now been long abandoned. Bedford, the "Limestone Capital of the World," received over $700,000 in government grants to build an eight-story replica of the Great Pyramid out of native limestone. Work proceeded until funds ran out.
A museum devoted to military ordnance (weapons, ammunition, bombs), located at one of the military's most diversified ordnance testing and development locations, Aberdeen Proving Ground. Though mostly historical, exhibits include the "Mile Of Tanks" walking tour, through a 25-acre field of tanks...
Possibly the only school constructed entirely underground, simultaneously serving as a fallout shelter. Built in 1962, at the height of Cold War fears. Said to have a capacity of 2,000. An above ground school has been built adjacent to it.
An ancient native pueblo atop tall mesa, Acoma is one of the longest continuously inhabited communities in the country, established over a thousand years ago. Acoma, today, is a most unusual-looking place, with thousand-year old buildings that have been updated with modern improvements, such as...
The undeveloped Albany Dump peninsula (known as the Bulb) is composed of twisted metal, broken concrete, and other fragments of the urban landscape dumped into the Bay up until 1987. It has become a creative sculpture park and homeless campsite. At the base of the peninsula is Golden Gate Fields,...
Alcatraz Island, the notorious prison that once housed 260 federal offenders, is now visited by over one million people a year. Tourists are permitted to see the main prison areas, however, much of the rambling old facility is off-limits.
Opened in 1927, the first Federal women's prison in the United States. Famous inmates at Alderson have included Billie Holiday, Tokyo Rose, Axis Sally, Martha Stewart, and would-be Gerald Ford assassins Sara Jane Moore and Squeakie Frome. The original design was a horseshoe-shaped configuration of...
This is a residential development in central Idaho, established and promoted by the notorious survivalist and decorated veteran Bo Gritz. Since 1994, a few hundred people have bought lots and built homes, and moved in trailers. Called a "covenant community", most, but not all its denizens share an...
Located at the bottom of the San Francisco Bay, Alviso is an old port town with a dried up marina. Over a hundred years ago, Alviso was San Jose's shipping port, and after railways made the port less vital, it became a major cannery town. The Bayside Cannery, still standing, is said to have been...
Located in a remote stretch of desert, near the Nevada/California state line, the Amargosa Opera House, once an abandoned community center, offers weekly performances of classical ballet, theater, and pantomine. All the performances are written and executed by Marta Becket, a classically trained...
An earthwork by the artist Robert Smithson, consisting of a 140 foot diameter partial circle of rock, which rises out of the level ground to a height of around 15 feet. The artificial lake in which the piece once emerged is now dry, and the sculpture is slowly eroding. Smithson was killed in a...
Usually called "the world's largest maze" when it is created every year at this site, the maze, cut into a cornfield, is one of several major "maize mazes" that "crop up" across the country at the end of each summer. The company that operates and promotes this attraction builds mazes in New York...
The Ambassador Hotel, torn down in 2007, was a legendary urban resort built on Wilshire Boulevard in 1921, with over 600 rooms and 13 acres of floor space. For a few decades it was a popular place for celebrities, from Hollywood stars to politicians, to wine, dine, and mingle. The Academy Awards...
A configuration of rocks in the forest that are aligned to various celestial bodies and solstices. Also a "sacrificial table" slab, and an "oracle chamber", all mysteriously erected by unknown agents. A prehistoric, megalithic tourist attraction.
A museum of the rock fluorspar, which is used in industrial operations such as steel processing, and of the mineral fluorite, which it contains. Fluorite is the official state mineral of Illinois, where half of the nation's supply is produced. The museum is located on Main Street in Rosiclare.
Museum and science center for the adjacent Oak Ridge National Lab, one of the largest nuclear research complexes in the world.
The American Precision Museum is museum of precision manufacturing, featuring a collection of hand and machine tools, housed in an old armory in the small Vermont town of Windsor. Among the museum's remarkable collections and displays of small-scale invention and industriousness are John Ernst...
Exhibits exploring an essential but usually unheralded aspect of the infrastructure of civilized living.
The Ames Pyramid is a sixty-foot-tall stone-block monolith in the otherwise empty plains of Wyoming. It was constructed in 1882 to both commemorate Union Pacific railroad businessmen/politicians Oakes and Oliver Ames, as well as to restore the reputation of Union Pacific, which was tarnished when...
Beverley Pepper made this sculpture in 1974, a sculptural amphitheater, on a lawn outside a major AT&T office park in New Jersey. Though apparently unrelated to the partially below-grade sculpture, this 200 acre AT&T complex at Bedminster also contains the partially underground global...
Like a bigger Alcatraz, Angel Island is an "away" place for the city, now as a park, but formerly as a site for activities undesirable in the midst of the city. Since the first use of the island as an artillery station in the 1860s, it has hosted many generations of gun batteries, up until 1962....
The Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola is one of the largest and most notorious maximum security prisons in the country. Nicknamed "the Farm," it is a working agricultural complex that utilizes cheap prisoner labor (wages range between 4 cents and 20 cents per hour) for traditional agriculture...
A museum about the Antelope Valley, with an emphasis on regional Native American history.
A small town in south eastern Idaho dubbed as the "first city in the world to be lit by atomic power," from the nearby National Reactor Testing Station, on July 17, 1955. That reactor is now part of the nuclear complex at the Idaho National Engineering Lab. (Moorpark, California also makes this...
Arcosanti is an entire city under construction near the town of Mayer, north of Phoenix. It is a city designed by the architect Paolo Soleri, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. While there is evidence of the influence of Wright's Arizona style in the idealistic architecture of Soleri, the Italian...
Now closed down, until a few years ago this trailer was jam-packed with information on the nearby secret base (the Groom Lake Base, located inside Area 51 of the Air Force's Nellis Range Complex). The Research Center was founded by Glenn Campbell, the independent secrecy-watchdog and UFO researcher...
Now a national historic site, this mill operated from 1913 to 1943, processing ore brought via the 22,000 foot Argo Tunnel. At the time it was built, it was the largest mill of its type in the world. It is now a tourist attraction.
A museum about the Arkansas River, and the multi-billion dollar waterway engineering project that opened the landlocked city of Tulsa up to commercial barge shipping. In 1971, the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System opened, composed of 450 miles of rivers, mostly the Arkansas, that...
At 612 acres, and over 400,000 occupants, this is the nation's largest cemetery in terms of internments.