A New Station

artist's conception of the new station
An extremely detailed conceptual view of what would become the domed station
(high resolution full size view, 1MB)

In 1970-71, a couple of years after the model of the dome was set out near the station, the conceptual designs of what would become the domed station (where I and 20 other guys wintered in 1977) started to appear. The above amazingly-detailed drawing was created by Fred Wolff, the graphic artist for the August 1971 Popular Science article by Mark Walker about the proposed new station.

There are several incongruities with the above image...that rollup door on the garage arch would have never worked, GCA is in a strange location just in front of the station, the Herc being unloaded behind the station with a Trackmaster, the less-than-smooth nature of the terrain, and all those windows on the dome buildings. But that apparent VXE-6 JATO takeoff is awesome.

But there were other images out there. For example...

color version of the proposed station
from Sandra Markle's 1998 childrens' book Super Cool Science.

This book contains a number of dramatic color photos of the domed station, Old Pole, and the then-current early plans for what would become the elevated station.

NSF's early conceptual design
This version appeared in the November/December 1971 Antarctic Journal.

This looks to be similar to Sandra Markle's version, although the dome buildings are a bit different, and the runway and skiway are shown sort of how they turned out (well, except for that flagpole). And there's that other arch southeast of the BIT...presumably that was the early planned location for Building 7, the emergency camp building that never happened (part of it turned into the annex, another part was destroyed--I came across it on the cargo hill behind McM after the winter, and where its emergency generators ended up, I have no clue).

At least this drawing, unlike Sandra Markle's depiction, shows the GMD dome atop the BIT. But we know the BIT was connected to the helium arch, not the cargo arch, as at this point a hydrogen generator was still in the plan.

updated NSF drawing
An updated version from the March/April 1975 Antarctic Journal.

This version appeared as part of a feature article about the new station, with a sidebar about its dedication. It is much more accurate--including the helium arch (but without a dome atop BIT), and the two flags flanking the main entrance. But still, there is no annex, which was a fairly late addition to accommodate additional population. The letters key to a legend of the station buildings (this copy of the photo includes the legend).