Claude Bell's dinosaurs, also referred to as the Cabazon Dinosaurs, are world famous, enormous, sculptured roadside attractions located in Cabazon, California and visible to the immediate north of Interstate 10. The site features Dinny the Dinosaur, a 150-ton, larger than life-sized sculpture of an Brontosaurus and Mr. Rex, a 100-ton Tyrannosaurus Rex. Dinny and Mr. Rex are at the Cabazon exit of Interstate 10, a short distance west of Palm Springs behind the Wheel Inn diner on Seminole Drive in San Gorgonio Pass.
The Cabazon dinosaurs were built by Knott's Berry Farm sculptor Claude K. Bell (1897-1988) in the 1960s to attract customers to his Wheel Inn Cafe which opened in 1958. Dinny, completed in 1964, was created out of spare material from the construction of Interstate 10 at a cost of US$300,000 over the course of two decades until Bell's death in 1988.1 No construction company or contractors were involved in the project. In 1981, Mr. Rex was constructed nearby to Dinny. A giant slide was intended to be installed in Mr. Rex's tail, but this plan was scrapped. Dinny's paint job was reputedly done by a friend of Bell's in exchange for one dollar and a case of Dr Pepper. A third wooly mammoth sculpture and a prehistoric garden were drafted, but not completed, due to Bell's death.2
More than mere sculptures, Dinny and Mr. Rex are habitable buildings. The entrance is at the base of Dinny's tail. Bell himself once lived in Dinny's upper rooms. Structural problems and other factors have over time threatened the structures with removal.
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