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16 Roadside Architectural Wonders

        Adventure | Landmarks

1
House on the Rock: Spring Green, Wisconsin
The House on the Rock was created in the 1940s by Alex Jordan, who eventually started charging visitors for tours of his unique house.
The House on the Rock was created in the 1940s by Alex Jordan, who eventually started charging visitors for tours of his unique house.
Publications International, Ltd.

Capping a 60-foot geological formation named Deer Shelter Rock is one of the best-known architectural oddities in the United States.

The House on the Rock (a parody of Frank Lloyd Wright's work) is the creation of Alex Jordan, who started building it in the 1940s as a vacation home near Spring Green, Wisconsin.

He just kept on building, furnishing it with Oriental art, a three-story bookcase, and anything else that captured his fevered imagination. He soon realized the place could lure tourists by the carload and started charging 50 cents for tours.

Jordan sold the house in the late 1980s, but the place just keeps getting bigger and stranger by the year.

With 14 unique and lavishly decorated rooms -- including the Infinity Room, with 3,264 windows -- and a surrounding complex that houses a miniature circus, the world's largest carousel, and a full-fledged destination resort, the House on the Rock is at once wacky, tacky, innovative, and elegant.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A Denver-based freelance writer, Eric Peterson contributes to numerous periodicals and travel guides. His recent credits include Ramble: A Field Guide to the U.S.A. and stories for Sky, the New York Daily News, and Westword.