UTOPIA GHOSTOWN POP. ZERO
LLANO DEL RIO
While reading about remote deserted communities in California I noticed a trend which may explain something about the way out vibe on the west coast. So many ghost towns it seems are abandoned social living projects; that essentially failed...and in that way maybe they were a success. California's history is tied to a dream - some individual with a (usually twisted) vision of what should / could be: The unknown lands, War, Power, Gold, Business, Water, Borders, Industrial Light & Magic Show Biz and Shiny Things.
Two Ghost Towns that really have stood out - California City and Llano Del Rio.
To quote BLDGBLOG The history of the town itself is of a failed Californian utopia—in fact, incredibly, if completed, it was intended to rival Los Angeles. From the city's Wikipedia entry:
California City had its origins in 1958 when real estate developer and sociology professor Nat Mendelsohn purchased 80,000 acres (320 km2) of Mojave Desert land with the aim of master-planning California's next great city. He designed his model city, which he hoped would one day rival Los Angeles in size, around a Central Park with a 26-acre (11 ha) artificial lake. Growth did not happen anywhere close to what he expected. To this day a vast grid of crumbling paved roads, scarring vast stretches of the Mojave desert, intended to lay out residential blocks, extends well beyond the developed area of the city. A single look at satellite photos shows the extent of the scarred desert and how it stakes its claim to being California's 3rd largest geographic city, 34th largest in the US. California City was incorporated in 1965.
Llano Del Rio
Llano Del Rio was started as a socialist project in 1913 and which eventually dried up like those bricks that remain in their desert surroundings; human friction and fights over water. This heavy desert region is now home to a State Park known as the Devil's Punchbowl.
LLANO DEL RIO