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The domes near Casa Grande have been torn down

The mysterious concrete domes rising up from the desert near Casa Grande are no more.

Demolition on the abandoned, crumbling structures just south of Interstate 8 on Thornton Road began Monday, Pinal County confirmed on Tuesday. Photos from the Casa Grande Dispatch show heavy machinery amid piles of debris. 

The domes have long been an Arizona curiosity, featured by travel websites such as Atlas Obscura. The Travel Channel show "Ghost Adventures" went to the domes for a 2016 episode. 

They were built in 1982 as the headquarters for InterConn Technology, an electronics manufacturer, in an unincorporated area of Pinal County. The unusually shaped buildings, made with polyurethane foam and concrete reinforced with metal fibers and rebar, were never fully finished and fell into disrepair. They had become a magnet for photographers, artists and vandals.

Property owners Dan and Karon Peer had been in an ongoing legal battle with the county over the safety of the domes. 

Several years ago, Pinal County asked them to have an engineer assess the domes' safety or block them from public access. When the owners did not, the structures were condemned as unsafe, spokesman Joe Pyritz told KJZZ News in 2017. 

According to Superior Court documents filed in March 2022, the Peers racked up thousands of dollars in fines for failing to bring the property up to code. A judge gave the county credence to bring the property into compliance if its owners failed to do so within 30 days of the summary judgment. 

A county official said Tuesday crews will continue to move debris from the site throughout the week.

A look inside the domes in 2016

Jill Ryan joined KJZZ in 2020 as a morning reporter, and she is currently a field correspondent and Morning Edition producer.