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Meteor City, purveyor of Indian artifacts.  9-03.
Meteor City Location:  Take Exit 239 off Interstate 40, heading to the south side of the freeway.  You cannot miss the white geodesic dome with a rainbow colored Mohawk.
Clickable Map.  Meteor City is just west of Winslow, AZ on Interstate 40.  The trading post may be reached at (928) 289-4020.

 

 

Six trading posts.  In Route 66's heyday, there were six trading posts between Winona and Winslow.  They were Twin Arrows, Toonerville, Two Guns, Rimmy Jim's, Meteor City, and Hopi House.  As the venerable old road faded they all closed.  Meteor City was the last to close and the only one to re-open.

Meteor City was built in 1938, adopting a name to capitalize on the nearby Meteor Crater.  It was not the only enterprise to seek commercial success by adopting the astronomical name.  For a while, the town of Winslow sought to be known as "The Meteor City."

Thank you Buckminster Fuller.  The original trading post had a conventional rectangular building.  In 1979 that building was replaced with an eye-catching dome.  The designer, architect and inventor Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) achieved his greatest fame as the inventor of the geodesic dome, for which he received a patent in 1953.  The design allows the construction of a very strong structure which can reach enormous proportions from simple materials.  Domes can be fashioned from triangles of plywood mounted on a 2x6 frame, which is the apparent construction technique used at Meteor City.  The dome's structure is clearly visible in the picture below.

Meteor City is bigger that it looks from the outside. The goods offered under the geodesic dome are primarily Indian handiwork and souvenirs, not meteors or dinosaurs.  9-03

Unfortunately, as utilitarian as the design may be, it affords no particular fire protection when wood is the principal construction material.  In 1990 the Meteor City dome burned down.  It was replaced with the structure there today.

Hollywood comes to Meteor City.  In director John Carpenter's excellent 1984 movie Starman, crash landed alien Jeff Bridges takes human form to travel from Wisconsin to Arizona with co-star Karen Allen in order to rendezvous with his space rescuers at Meteor Crater. They have cherry pie and peach cobbler inside the Meteor City dome--it was transformed into a restaurant for the movie--and are almost busted by the single minded head of the National Security Agency played by Richard Jaeckel.  One can only imagine the excitement when the cast and crew arrived at the sleepy trading post.

Richard Benton, proprietor of Meteor City.  9-03

The trading post closes--and reopens.  On July 31, 2001, Meteor City closed its doors in what looked like would be the demise of the post.  The last operators had run the post for seven years, and it looked like Meteor City had come to the end of the line.  "For Sale" signs went up, and fortunately it was just the kind of place Richard and Ermila Benton were looking for.  They reopened the trading post.

World's largest Route 66 map restored.  The geodesic dome was not the only feature designed to attract tourists.  On the east side of the dome famed Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire painted a 100-foot long map of the old road.  Unfortunately, sometime after 2000 that map was painted over.  In October 2003, volunteers from the Hampton Inn Hotels recreated the map of Route 66 and repainted six teepees surrounding the dome.  Meteor City was the 13th landmark and the 4th along Route 66 which the hotel chain restored in its Save-A-Landmark program.

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Route 66 Sources Copyright 2003-2006 by aroundaz.com This page was last revised on 08/18/06.