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Old Jan 25, 2012, 9:19 AM   #1
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Default Doors - Rhyolite

Doors and thresholds are such interesting subjects, and I don't take advantage of them very much. Need to work on this topic for the next two weeks to explore the topic more.

Here are two I took last January on a weekend trip to Death Valley and the ghost town of Rhyolite (both are worth visiting, I want to go back and spend more time there - but NOT in the summer!).

This first one is the door to a house made completely of bottles:

The entrance to the bank:

The building is impressive, even in ruin. It's 3 stories, though none of the floors remain and only part of the walls. A glimpse back in history, back when there was still a Wild West. The thing that gave me the most pause, though, was the remains of the building across the street - it still had the top part with the name on it - "HD & LD Porter 1906". Talking about history and ruined buildings that were new barely 100 years ago just doesn't seem right, when an inn in the UK can be called "New Inn" and be 500 years old.
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Old Jan 25, 2012, 6:44 PM   #2
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Very cool place, mtngal! Those are bottles in the wall? Must look really interesting from the inside when the sun hits!

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Old Jan 25, 2012, 9:28 PM   #3
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We didn't have the chance to go into the house, though as I recall, they do offer tours. We were there in the very early morning, so no one was around. Which is actually nice when visiting a ghost town, I guess. All the walls (well all the outside walls that I could see) are indeed bottles - one site on the internet said that the builder used over 30,000 beer bottles. Apparently the guy who built it put in regular walls, so those living in it wouldn't know they were living in a house made of bottles. It's not all that far from Los Angeles, it's a couple of miles outside of Beatty, Nevada.

The ghost town has been used in a number of movies and is now under the control of the Bureau of Land Management. It's an interesting place to visit when one is in Death Valley.
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Old Jan 25, 2012, 10:20 PM   #4
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The use of recycled bottles to create a building is very similar to a community outside of Taos, New Mexico called "Earthship". This is a community of homes built entirely out of recycled materials. Water is also recycled and electricity is generated from wind and solar power. Thanks for sharing your photo with us, mtngal. This type of construction gives us hope for a world stressed with a shortage of natural resources.
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 1:37 AM   #5
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Glass bottle for walls - I'm very curious now what the light behind those bottles inside the house would look like. Time to think about adding this to my bucket list...

mtngal, thanks for sharing.
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 6:55 AM   #6
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Unique architecture, to say the least.

Must be something to see from the inside.

By the way, looks like the owner changed his brand of beer at one point during construction


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Old Jan 26, 2012, 8:30 AM   #7
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Zig...looks like he may have changed his brand of beer back again at one point..

Very interesting images. I can just envision a bank robbery as they hop on their horses to get away.
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 9:56 PM   #8
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I went looking for more information about the house on the internet. Apparently there were quite a few saloons in Rhyolite and they supplied much of the building material. And if one site had it right, this was the biggest of 3 such houses in the town.

It's not surprising that they would use something like bottles (the bottles were left unbroken and some still had labels on them) since building materials would have been in very short supply. To give you an idea of just how short, here's another picture of the bank and the main street of the ghost town (for those not familiar with the area):

Selvin, this was a fun side-trip when we were in Death Valley. That's a location that is well worth being on your bucket list, but only if you take the time to get off the main highway and spend some time. I want to go back again.
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