This week’s crazy building is the J.S. Dorton Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Polish architect Maciej Nowicki designed an arena with the first cable-supported roof system on earth. Tragically, he was killed in a plane crash before construction began. Nowicki’s friend, another local architect named William Dietrick, was called upon make his vision a reality.
Opened in 1952, Dorton Arena’s innovative design has a charming retro look today. Two sweeping arches criss-cross to form a saddle-shaped roof and impressive half-circle at the front entrance. The arches actually continue underground, connected by yet more steel cables.
The arena is 300 feet across and can seat up to 7,600 people. It’s been home to a variety of sports teams from basketball to hockey, and currently serves as host for roller derby and indoor football games.
It hosts other events as well, including concerts in the North Carolina State Fair and even a robotics competition.
Dorton Arena is a regional landmark beloved by Raleigh locals. Thanks to reader Gary H. for submitting this crazy building from his hometown!