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Paolo Soleri Amphitheater

Santa Fe, USA
1 of 2Arcosanti Foundation

The Paolo Soleri Amphitheater was an amphitheater in Santa Fe, New Mexico which was founded in 1970 and closed in 2010. The structure, which was never finished due to design flaws, was designed by Italian-American architect Paolo Soleri.

The amphitheater was built on the campus of the Santa Fe Indian School in the mid-1960s. The concrete structure was created using Soleri's methods of earth-forming to create a surreal desert-scape. The venue's wing-like organic shapes emerge from a bowl-shaped depression in the high desert floor. Some evidence suggests that Soleri's design was influenced by Native American themes. Seating only about 650, the small theater hosted notable performers including Carlos Santana, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and Leonard Cohen. In later years, theater operations became unprofitable. The venue hosted its last performance, a concert by Lyle Lovett, on July 29, 2010.

As of 2011 the amphitheater is marked for demolition by the Santa Fe Indian School citing maintenance costs of about $100,000 per year and that it is only used twice a year. Because the amphitheater is owned by the nineteen Native American Pueblos of New Mexico, it is not protected by state or local preservation laws. The schedule of the structure's demolition is unknown.