I Can’t Believe A Town Actually Considered Building This. What Were They Thinking?
The original reasoning behind covering the town with a dome was that it would drastically cut heating. Winooski was a poor town of 7,000 at the time, and received the second-most federal assistance per capita in the country. The town’s annual heating bill was $4 million. That’s not a small amount for a poor town.
The town council rejected the idea…until they heard about the money. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) had funds allocated for new housing concepts. Constructing a dome over the town meant millions of dollars flowing in from HUD to finance construction.
The town and the media embraced the idea of a dome over Winooski. While the problems with such a project are fairly obvious, it wasn’t logical opposition to the dome that killed the project. It was a presidential election.
President Jimmy Carter was facing a tough reelection against newcomer Ronald Reagan at the time. As a way to give his opponent less to criticize, Carter told HUD to cut off funds for the project.
The idea of a dome in Winooski went down with Carter. By the time Reagan took office, the funds HUD allocated for the project were gone. I suppose that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Here is Winooski as it stands today. I think a dome would have ruined the view.