Landfill For Sale, One Piece At A Time

photo: "Buckminster's Nightmare" - a perfectly good, but apparently obsolete geodesic dome is proudly demolished by Coronado Salvage. Bummer, would've looked great mounted on my rooftop!

If you've never been to Coronado Salvage, and you don't mind getting down and dirty, you're in for a mind-blowing experience. Coronado, which is located on south Broadway, is New Mexico's leading wrecking company. These are the guys that will knock down your unused structure, scrape it all into a big pile and leave the site as a tabula rasa ready for the next project. I don't know if they've ever done a huge job like the towering casinos you've seen falling in Vegas, but they've definitely done their share of demolition. They claim to save anything of value, "We schedule a salvage crew to a job site prior to demolition to remove any and all reusable items which are then sent to our 30 acre facility, where we allow the general public to shop six days a week for anything they might be able to re-use."

For 17 years, I've frequented this landfill for sale searching for anything I could use creatively. It's a hit-or-miss proposition. This ain't no Urban Ore; the good, bad and ugly are all strewn about the 30 acres with very little organization. The old sinks lay in lines in the dirt. There's a large metal building full of doors and another full of cabinetry. The roofs leak and if the rain hasn't ruined the otherwise perfect door you've found, the pigeon shit surely has. You'll find yourself repeating, "this ______ would be perfect if it wasn't ruined by that ______." And just when you're about to give up, if you keep your mind open, you will find something great. Just like at a thrift store, the key is to just see what is there. It's impossibly disappointing to walk in looking for something specific like a 36" x 48" double-hung wood window.

Actually, all our office cabinetry at Baker A+D came from Coronado. We could not find drawer stacks which were the right height (desk height), but we did find some bright orange ones that we chopped down. Fresh paint on the nasty wood parts and we were good to go. 4 desks for 80 bucks. So if you're ever in our office and you have flashbacks to high school chemistry class, now you know why.

Mark Baker
Baker Architecture + Design

Views: 9

Comment by slamwagon on April 17, 2009 at 8:07am
Great post! I wonder if EBay or some other site would have disbatched the dome to a loving home.
Comment by Mark on April 17, 2009 at 8:35am
Thanks! There's actually a few weird structures in the Coronado slide show that I would want. But that dome is/ was amazing. My office building has been designed for a second story with no structural modifications, so now I'm on the lookout!
Comment by Mark on April 17, 2009 at 11:39am
Oh, and about the eBay idea... Definitely! The craziest things sell on eBay. As long as they were not in a hurry and could wait around for an auction and a truck and the disassembly, this would have been worth quite a bit to some freak (like me) out there. I can hear them now, "it is just faster and cheaper to rip it to shreds than to relocate it...."
Comment by Barelas Babe on April 17, 2009 at 3:27pm
This is one of my favorite places in Albuquerque - great write-up, Mark!
Comment by Chroma Studios on April 17, 2009 at 3:44pm
I've been there before and forgot about it! Thanks for the reminder as we will most definitely need to do some shopping there for our new Art space. Love that place!
Comment by cathyray on April 17, 2009 at 5:12pm
Oh man! I love that place. I always come home with some really cool stuff that I have needed for a long time but did not know it.
Comment by killbox on April 17, 2009 at 7:23pm
looks like it was an old weather radar sphere!
Comment by Mark on April 20, 2009 at 7:31am
Thanks BB!
Artisqueno, the old golf ball building? This may have before my time? Where could you see it from, and how long ago was it taken down?
Comment by akoolstik on April 20, 2009 at 8:56am
mmm, looks like a good field trip!


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