The Best of Burning Man: The Top Ten Series (#6)… The Buildings of Black Rock City

A photo of the roof of the Sacred Spaces building in Burning Man.

A photo of the shade structure over the Sacred Spaces building at Burning Man.

I am going to be on the road for the next few weeks, so I decided to produce several blogs that might be of interest to my readers but would be easy for me to do: Voila—The Best Of Burning Man series! I’ve now been to Burning Man for ten years starting in 2004 (and will be going again in 2015, assuming I get two tickets and a vehicle pass). Each blog will feature a top ten category such as top ten sculptures, mutant vehicles, etc.

Important. 1) These are from my perspective. Other people will have different points of view. 2) I never see everything that is available to see at Burning Man. There is simply too much. So it’s quite possible that I have missed some really great things. My apologies. 3) I missed 2011. 4) These photos are not in order of choice. That is beyond me. (Grin)

Basically, this series will include a brief introduction and then my top ten choices. There may be captions on my photos, or not. Finally, while Peggy and I have taken the majority of these photos, I have also included photos from Tom Lovering, Beth Lovering, Don Green, and Ken Lake… all members of our ‘tribe,’ and friends.

Series 6: The Buildings of Black Rock City

You could easily spend the seven days of Burning Man walking up and down the streets of Black Rock City and looking at what Burners and tribes have chosen to build. There are the major structures like Center Camp Café and what you might find along the Esplanade, Burning Man’s major thoroughfare, but these are only the beginning.

A number of structures built as art and/or theme pieces are also found out on the Playa.

In this particular post, I don’t intend to do a top ten. Instead I will provide you with a sample of what you might expect to see. Remember: these are structures that are only meant to last the seven days of Burning Man. Afterwards, they come down. Some, out on the Playa, are turned into spectacular fires.

A number of impressive buildings including the Sacred Spaces building are found along the Esplanade at Burning Man.

A number of impressive buildings including the Sacred Spaces building are found along the Esplanade at Burning Man.

Another of my favorite building along the Esplanade at Burning Man.

Another of my favorite buildings along the Esplanade. Note the matching mutant vehicle on the right.

This tribe or camp chose to build a castle on the Esplanade as a dancing venue.

This tribe or camp chose to build a castle on the Esplanade as a dancing venue.

Small cities destined to be burned, such as this Mega Mart are occasionally built out on the Playa at Burning Man.

This small ‘city,’ the Mega Mart, was built out on the Playa. Like all urban areas, it had a graffiti problem. It was destined to be burned.

This cathedral was also built out on the Playa.

A cathedral was also built out on the Playa.

The cathedral lit up at night.

The cathedral at night.

On a more humorous note, the Bird Trap Church.

On a more humorous note, the Bird Trap Church.

This mega-church was built by a Burner who wanted to get married in Black Rock City.

This mega-church was built by a Burner who wanted to get married in Black Rock City.

We attended the wedding.

We attended the wedding.

The NOLA camp always brings a bit of New Orleans to Black Rock City.

The NOLA camp always brings a bit of New Orleans to Black Rock City.

Another impressive Black Rock City structure built to last a week.

Another realistic and impressive Black Rock City structure built to last a week.

Another one of my favorites, a bar on wheels. You never knew where it might show up on the Playa but it was always good for a free drink.

Another one of my favorites, a bar on wheels. You never knew where it might show up on the Playa, but it was always good for a free drink. NEXT BLOG: A break from Burning Man: My book, The Bush Devil Ate Sam is now out and available as an eBook and in printed form. I’ll share the details on where to get a copy.

 

25 comments on “The Best of Burning Man: The Top Ten Series (#6)… The Buildings of Black Rock City

  1. My favorite was the mouse-trap church [got a chuckle out of that!] until I saw the free drink at the rolling saloon – you’ll know where to find me.

    • The church was pretty hilarious. It even had a large rope leading away from it like we used to have strings attached to the sticks holding up the boxes we hoped to catch birds in. I was never very successful. Thankfully. 🙂

      The rolling saloon came complete with rowdy bartenders and scantily dressed barmaids. Oh yeah, and rather potent moonshine. LOL –Curt

      • I spent many a year tending bar, learned from my father – I can hold my own with the best of them. [ yeah – like at this age I’m going up against anybody!! – HA!!]

    • Unending creativity, Hilary. It’s what keeps me coming back, time and time again. The Bush Devil will be up in the morning. 🙂 Probably is up when you are reading this. –Curt

    • NOLA serves some great coffee and pastries as well, Linda. And the two churches provided an interesting contrast. The Cathedral had some very interesting photos connected with it. But the bird trap church really showed creativity. –Curt

  2. I liked the Cathedral best, and I find it interesting how many churches were built. Burning Man makes people think of spirituality maybe? And yes…. so romantic to build your own church in order to be married in a church at Burning Man. Awwww.

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