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January 10, 2008 Yesterday’s Anniversary of the Old Dome

33 years of the Old Dom.


Temperature: - 26 C, 14 F

Windchill: - 41 C, - 41 F

Wind: 14 – 20 knts.

Weather: windy and sunny, no flights do to a snow storm in McMurdo


We had another day of no flights. Work at the station went on, even with 15-25 knots of wind.


Yesterday was the anniversary of the Old Dom. Since we will be celebrating the dedication of the New Station soon, I thought it important to dedicate this journal to the Old Dom.


But before here the answer to yesterday’s question: when were the first and second South Pole stations built.

First station = Original station (1957–1975) Second station: Jan 9 1975Dome (1975–2003) (For more information go to: )


Jerry Mary, the NSF New Station project manager and whom I introduced before, reminded us of the special day with his email below:

"Today 1/9/2008 marks the 33rd Anniversary of the Dome Dedication and formal occupancy transition from the Old Pole Station (IGY).  How ironic that during this same January week we will participate in the Dedication Ceremony of the new United States of America Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, scheduled for January 12, 2008.  This new station is a scientific research facility constructed to support 21st century science and one which we all can be proud of; should this be your fist season at 90 South or if you are a returning veteran from the construction years going back to 1997 (station support, construction, and/or  scientist).

The image is of the Dome and adjacent arches & the jamesway construction camp (far right) known as Dry Gulch.  1/9/75 the celebration was for a station and Basis of Design representing a summer capacity of 33 men and winter over of 18 men.  Also sans satellites, internet, digital imagerie, CD/DVDs, computers, etc, etc.


The Dome from the air in 1975:

The Dom from the air in 1975 

For general interest, we will be relocating the US Flag from the Dome to the new station as part of the dedication ceremonies, so there are only a few more days to photograph the Dome with a US Flag flying over it.


Jerry W. Marty

National Science Foundation Representative South Pole Station”


Marty pointed out to me that on January 21, 2007; the "Antarctic Sun” published the article "Pole turns 50” in honor of the 50th anniversary of Dom.

For the complete article go to:


Last year, the sign above the entrance of the old Dom was removed that welcomed everybody entering the Dom for more than 30 years, including myself in 1999.


"Sign Off the times”, is a reflection of changing times at the pole:


Now the dome is kept snow free as possible in order for the demolition to be started next year. It is planned that the parts will be saved and the Dom rebuild by the NAVY as a museum "as it was”. That would be just wonderful, I think.  


The Old Dome is awaiting its fate.


The old Dome is awaiting its fate. The  night crew cleared as much snow as they could for the  final group photo to be taken on January 12, 2008.

As Marty’s letter announced, January 12, at 7:30 in the morning, the first part of the dedication of the New Elevated Station will start. We will have our last picture taken in front of the Dom still with the US flag on top. 


The Dom with US flag: 

The Dom will carry this flag for the last few days in 33 years.


The Old Dome and The New Elevated station:

The Old Dome and The New Elevated station from afar. The skiway is to the right. Te old ski way was going between the old Dome and the New Station


The Flag on top of the old Dom will then be removed and transferred with a daisy-line (all hands helping) to the ceremonial pole and then to its new location to the far right of the new Elevated Station.

The station is gearing up for the big celebration. We are still waiting for the weather to turn better and we hope that all visitors will be able to come as planned. Tomorrow, I will report about some of the preparation for the dedication.


Elke Bergholz's picture
Author: Elke Bergholz
Expedition: South Pole Ozone Changes