a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Friday, April 1, 2016

Arcosanti

A/Z 
sharing sights and sites of Arizona

A - Arcosanti was the dream of Paolo Soleri, an Italian architect, who had an idea of a compact city design (arcology - architecture and ecology) instead of the urban sprawl.  Arcosanti was started to be built back in 1970 with the help of over 7000 volunteers and provides various mixed use buildings and spaces where people live, work, visit, and participate in education and cultural programs.  

I found this very interesting when we went touring it.  It is located about 35 miles away from Prescott, 60 miles north of Phoenix.  As you can see by the signs, tours are offered daily.  Also, people can register for seminars that are held there that can last from one week up to five weeks.  Some people who come to the seminars stay on as volunteers or in various paid positions.


This currently is what Arcosanti looks like. Originally designed to house 5000 people, it currently can hold up to 100 people who live on site.  



There is a cafe there at Arcosanti where they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner to guests, employees, and visitors.  It was a buffet style type meal. We decided to try it out and we weren't disappointed.  

One of the projects they do at Arcosanti to support it is make bells.  Paolo Soleri and his wife made beautiful wind chime bells.  The work is carried out at Arcosanti and sold at the gift shop there as well as other guest shops all across the country (and perhaps even the world).  This is the foundary where they make some of the bells.



An example of one of the many bells available there.



A multipurpose area that could hold entertainment productions, meetings, weddings, etc.  Our tour guide said one of their favorite events is the Italian supper put on yearly where long tables are put up in this area and spaghetti is served in wheelbarrows.


An ampitheater, again used as multipurpose for entertainment, etc.


Dorm rooms where permanent residents live.  



This is an olive tree.  One of many on the property.  Every year after the olives grow, they harvest them and make olive oil.


It was an interesting tour.  I think his idea of such a city where people work and play and live all in a small area is fascinating. I can't imagine it ever really catching on.  Paolo Soleri passed at the age of 93 back in 2013.  There is a board of directors now in charge of making decisions of the future of Arcosanti and finishing the work designed by him. 

Definitely worth a visit and I had just a bit of a tug when we first got there to sign up for a seminar or even an extended visit to learn more and to work there for a bit. Our tour guide had been there for about 2 years.  There were even families with young children that lived there.  (They either home school the children or send them to the schools close by).

So what about you? Could you envision living some place like this?

76 comments:

joeh said...

No.

taleoftwotomatoes said...

Those are some great photographs, Betty. Love the bells! But sadly no, I cannot think of living in such a place.

Visit to read Army Wife Tales at Tale of Two Tomatoes
Also drop in to check 26 Chicken Recipes at Something's Cooking

Paula Kaye said...

Can you imagine eating spaghetti served from wheelbarrows. I would love to attend! What beautiful pictures. You and Richard would have gotten along fantastically. These are the kinds of trips he loved to take. You are off to a great start my friend!!

shortybear said...

glad you shared.

Anoosha said...

I never knew of this Place. Thank You for Sharing and Also Love the Pictures :)

Pamela Wright said...

Possibly could live there - it looks very peaceful. Thanks for sharing.
www.thewrightsdaysoffun.blogspot.co.uk

Eileen T said...

No, I can't imagine myself living in a place like that but I can see that there are others who would love it. It takes 'togetherness' a bit too far for me.

Sharon Himsl said...

Very interesting. I would love to visit!

Pioneer Women in Aviation A-Z

Cynthia said...

I'll visit to try some of that "buffet-style" cooking you had there.

Keith Channing said...

I'd definitely be tempted by the annual Italian meal. The concept is very appealing, although I'd need to know more about the philosophy behind it to decide if it would be something I could sign up to.
In principle, though, I'm very much in favour.

Keith Channing at http://keithkreates.com

Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

Love the photos - sounds like an interesting experiment, but I, like you, can't see it catching on.
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

Keith Hillman said...

What a fascinating place. Great to be sharing your bench again.

My A-Z tale is entitled 'Whoopsie!'

Denise said...

This sounds like a place I would enjoy visiting. Looking forward to the rest of your tour.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

No I couldn't live like that, but it would be interesting to tour it. I do love wind chimes and to see them making them would interest me.

Bijoux said...

It's a beautiful place, but no, I wouldn't want to be confined like that.

Sally said...

What an unusual place. I would love to have a tour there but I can't envision living there. Spaghetti in a wheelbarrow made me smile and that amphitheatre looks pretty good.

Maria Zannini said...

What a cool idea. Sadly the reason I feel the world is in such a bad way is because there are too many of us. That and social media. :)

I read about an experiment where they kept rats in this sprawling and well fed environment. The more crowded they got, the worse life got. It seemed a microcosm of this world.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

So fascinating! I've never seen anything quite like that. I can't imagine myself living that type of lifestyle but I'd be game to stay there for a few days just to experience it.

A Joyful Chaos said...

Very interesting. I had no idea that place existed. I really don't have any interest though in trying to live in a place like that.

Mary Ann from

A Joyful Chaos

ffmamas said...

I would visit. Live there? Probably not. Wheelbarrows of spaghetti? Definitely visit!
@ffmamacoach from
Fabulous Fit Mamas

Changes in the wind said...

Have been there and it is a great place to visit but no, I wouldn't want to live there.

lyndagrace said...

An interesting place. The olive grove reminded me of Italy. I like the concept of small towns with restaurants and shops within walking distance, but I think I would feel a little too confined in Arcosanti.

Stephanie Bird said...

Wow! What a very intriguing place. I'd love to visit and learn more by doing a tour. We could live in such a place & I love bells. What a nice idea to make and sell them to help sustain the place.

Pat Hatt said...

Sure looks like an interesting spot. Not sure I could live there though. But spaghetti in wheel barrows, can that be sanitary? lol

Bish Denham said...

I've never heard of this place. Very interesting! I think I'd like some of their bells.

jack69 said...

Very interesting. Never heard of the place, but definitely would be nice to visit. I love a person with a vision. Sadly most folk do not have the tenacity of the dreamer. But that fact does not detract from the original dream.
THANKS!

Ruth said...

The dorms loo sort of futuristic. I could live in that place. I would probably miss all my open spaces of my yard with no one near me. But, I am not a city person by any means so I could live here.

Jayanthi Gopal said...

I would love to live in that kind of a self-sufficient commune. May be some day visit Acrosanti. Thanks to the post.

Intense Guy said...

Ah! The long awaited A in A to Z!!

:) This looks like a most interesting place! I've always thought it would be nice to "live for a month" in various places.

Of course it would be nice to never have to do laundry in that case too!

cleemckenzie said...

I could definitely envision myself living there. I love the idea of letting the space determine structures and not imposing structures on the space. Beautiful.

Joanne said...

very interesting place to tour. I'd like to visit the bell foundry. Sounds like the man had a vision. Nice it's continuing today

Joanne said...

very interesting place to tour. I'd like to visit the bell foundry. Sounds like the man had a vision. Nice it's continuing today

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I really couldn't imagine living there. The idea has lots of merits but it wouldn't be for me.

Susan Says


The Silver Fox said...

Cool-looking place, but I'm still thinking about that plate of food!

Kristi said...

I think it would be interesting to live there, but I'm not sure I would enjoy it for long-term.

Linda Ann Nickerson said...

Super-cool photos! Feel like I've been there, although I have never visited Arizona. Love the theme! And the cover photo is dreamy.

Thanks for stopping by at Heart of a Ready Writer.

My A-Z blogs for 2016:
(Sorry for so many links ... doing SEVEN blogs this year!)
Fad to the Bone – Dog Products Revue
Heart of a Ready Writer
Just Workin’ It – Job Starts and Smarts
Kicking MS to the Curb
Nickers and Ink Poetry and Humor
Practically at Home
Working in Words
Find me:
Linda Ann Nickerson author page on Amazon
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Happy A to Z – Linda Ann

JEN Garrett said...

I could live in such a place for a time once the kids are grown, but not for many years.

I love the bells, though.

Mandy Justin said...

Please tell me you got some of their olive oil! I bet it tastes divine! :)

Greenpatches said...

I'm trying to get my head round the idea of eating spaghetti from wheelbarrows.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Now that looks like a very interesting place to visit. I've never heard of it. Next time we are in Arizona we will have to check it out. Thanks for sharing all the photos.

Sharu said...

That is such a beautiful view! I'm not so sure I could adapt to that style of living though! Glad to have stumbled across your blog :)


Sharu from livelaughlovewithsharu.wordpress.com

Sasha Knight said...

Wow, what I view! I envy you. I love the architecture. Great post.

Romance, Passion, & Thrills
Twitter: @sashaknight

T. A. Miles said...

I had no idea such a place existed. How strange, and interesting. I also love those bells.

The Immarcescible Word

Frox'n'Fox

Elizabeth said...

That's a really neat place! The food looks good, and it's cool that they make bell wind chimes there :) I think I'd like to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

My Cozy Book Nook said...

The buffet lunch and beautiful wind chimes are reason enough for me to visit :)
Molly @MyCozyBookNook
My Cozy Book Nook
Revising Life after 50

Jerralea said...

I'd love to visit! And I would really love to see spaghetti served in wheelbarrows (hopefully clean disinfected ones); but, no, I wouldn't want to live there.

Thanks for sharing with us!

Wendy said...

Was this like a commune? Was there a religious or spiritual plan too? It has a very futuristic look about it. A wheelbarrow full of spaghetti does make it tempting!

Great start to A-Z, Betty!
Wendy from
Jollett Etc.

Lynn Proctor said...

How charming- I could get into that kinda set up- I am all about convenience!

Lynn Proctor said...

How charming- I could get into that kinda set up- I am all about convenience!

Mevely317 said...

I really wanted to visit Arcosanti when first we moved here (I'd fallen in love with the bells) ... but like so many things we never got around to it. Thanks to these pictures and your narrative, now I can say I've seen it. :)

PS - Nice place to visit, but no, I wouldn't want to live there.

Janet Miles said...

Very nice. Not sure I could live there but interesting to visit, through you! Thanks.

Megan Whitson Lee said...

Gorgeous photos! I really want to visit AZ--especially after your promotions! :) that plate of food looked amazing!

Jo said...

Temporary visit only I think Betty. Interesting to go there and see what was envisioned though.

Liz A. said...

It sounds kind of like a future community when overpopulation has taken much of the land, and people need to live in smaller spaces. Interesting.

C R Ward said...

I love learning about new places - this was wonderful!

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

I could see myself living somewhere like this when I was in my early twenties. But now, I'm a dyed in the wool rural girl, who likes my space to myself too much to give it up.
Revisit the Tender Years with me during the #AtoZChallenge at Life & Faith in Caneyhead!

John Holton said...

You know, I think I could, except for all the stairs. I'm disabled and can't climb stairs without handrails.

John Holton
Blogging from A to Z Challenge Co-Host
The Sound of One Hand Typing

Ann Bennett said...

Just one more place I would love to see. I like the idea of people living and functioning in such a small group. Then I think, it is hard to get along with everyone all of the time in a family. So I don't know. But who doesn't love a Utopia. Some of the Baptist churches in Georgia are integrated. They joke that they know they are functioning when everyone argues.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I would not mind visiting or holding an event there. A very interesting way to live.

melfka said...

A very interesting place and a good start of the A to Z challenge.
I can even sense some story ideas hiding there. Thanks for sharing it!

Karen O'Connor said...

Interesting spaces/buildings and a cool concepts. Not sure I could live there, but would like to visit!

@WeekendsInMaine
Weekends in Maine

Saleslady371 said...

I took this tour many years ago and forgot so much of it. I enjoyed the memories through your photos. No, I can't imagine living in a city like this. Your lunch looked delicious!

Leslie Moon said...

I think the artist was able to envision a beautiful world for people to live and work.
Its someplace I would love to visit - thanks for sharing.
I'm A to Zing from: moondustwriter and Fill the Cracks

DMS said...

Although I can't imagine living in a place like this, I can see why someone designed the city. I found this post fascinating and it definitely gave me something to think about. Thanks for sharing!
~Jess

.pink said...

This is such a unique way of showcasing the love of the city and state that you call home. BRAVO!!!!

Birgit said...

Love that old olive tree and I bet the olives taste great. Some wonderful pics here.

Roslyn Core said...

Thanks for showing us around. It's always nice to be able to share your travel photos! :)

Ros
Fangirl Stitches
Travel like a Geek

Angel Stew & Devil's Brew said...

Wow. That's super cool, altho I could never live there. I get the idea of his concept. I can see the appeal for some people. Reminds me a little commune type area.

Sunni said...

Well I learned something. That was very interesting. I didn't know the place existed and I've been to AZ many times. You did a good job with the pictures to show everything too. I'd love to have some of those bells on my patio.

I think it would be interesting to live there for a couple of weeks and see what else I could learn, but I wouldn't want to live there full time.

Sunni

Linda said...

Interesting place and a cool amphitheater. I've been wondering if dorm room concept could be helpful to meet needs of homeless. I love where I live but a cabin, lake, trees, would be my dream home.

Robyn :) said...

This is so fascinating!!

TARYTERRE said...

I found this place enchanting. What a lovely place to visit. Really enjoyed hearing about this.

Anna Tan said...

Looks so pretty.
I would like to see them serve spaghetti in wheelbarrows!

Anna
ATSP @ Deeply Shallow
@natzers

netablogs said...

Interesting place! I love the idea of living in a community, but I also love my own space .. so not sure that would be for me.

Kathryn McKendry said...

Very interesting concept. Not sure I would like living there though.

John Frain said...

This is great stuff, Betty Jean. We were in Arizona on vacaction about four years ago, and I was looking to see if I recognized anything. Not yet!

I'll have to remember the places we went. Haven't been to the Grand Canyon yet, but plan to.

I'm curious is you're gonna be standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona when you get to W. Surely there's a bench there!