The new owner of Oklahoma City's massive metal Gold Dome building believes the historic structure offers similar benefits as magnetic golf bracelets, which are purported to increase blood flow and performance.
Like the bracelets, the grounded dome puts off positive electromagnetic energy, Greg Lorson said. He said he feels the energy the minute he steps inside the 27,000-square-foot dome, which was built in 1958 for Citizens State Bank, using the geodesic dome design of architect Buckminster Fuller.
“It was Fuller — an architect, philosopher, engineer, author, college professor and overall renaissance man — who coined the phrase ‘synergy,'” Lorson said.
Believing the dome is an optimum habitat, Lorson in March will relocate his professional environmental engineering firm — Total Energy & Environmental Management Co. LLC (TEEMCO) — from Edmond to 23rd and Classen. TEEMCO — which employs about 100 and serves more than 1,300 clients nationwide — helps organizations, mostly major oil and gas companies, stay in compliance with state and federal environmental regulations.
“We believe our environment needs to be protected, whether it's natural or man-made,” Lorson said. “But man's habitat is just as important as a beaver dam. We have just as much right to be on the planet as any other life-form.”
Following the ancient Chinese design principles of feng shui to enhance environmental harmony, Lorson plans to complement the dome's hanging “light clouds” and terrazzo floor with two massive salt- and freshwater aquariums positioned behind the former teller windows and what will be the world's largest salt crystal lamp and natural air purifier, with crystal mined from Pakistan.
He also plans a giant touch screen along one wall that will educate students and other visitors on careers in math and science, and raise awareness of the need to protect the environment.
“The building will become functional art,” he said.
Lorson, 56, sat down with The Oklahoman on Monday to talk about his professional and personal life. This is an edited transcript:
Q. Tell us about your roots.
A. I spent the first nine months of life in Oklahoma City — in St. Joseph's orphanage, before my adoptive parents took me home to Bartlesville, where my dad worked as a petroleum engineer for Phillips. I was a middle child. They adopted six, raised four foster children and, after 25 years of marriage, divorced, both remarried and brought six other children into the family. It was fun. Growing up, we were big enough to field our own neighborhood teams. At any given time, four or five of us were mad at two or three others. But every night, we knelt as a family to pray, hugged and kissed, and all went to bed when the youngest did. We still love each other, though we don't see one another much, except at funerals. We're spread from Oklahoma east to Boston.