At night, the Silver Dome Ballroom looks much like a space ship that landed amid agricultural fields. The elliptical building employs lamella trusses, a roofing system designed by German inventor Friedrich Zollinger in 1908. He registered the U.S. patent for it in 1924 and subsequently reassigned the patent to Lamella Roof Syndicate, Inc. Local builder Moen modified Zollinger’s design to create a domed effect at the ends. The lamella truss system employs a self-bracing method of interlocking diamond shapes, which is supported only at the junction of the roof and walls. The ballroom opened with much fanfare in July 1933. As many as a thousand dancing couples whirled the night away in a space with no posts to offer obstructions. The ballroom has splendid acoustical qualities. The Keller Brothers, local musicians and impresarios, owned the hall until they sold it in 1940. Musical acts such as Duke Ellington, Glen Miller, Count Basie, and later Johnny Cash and the Buffalo Springfield played here, and it continues as a concert venue.
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Silver Dome Ballroom
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