Sometimes Architecture’s a Picnic (Literally)

The Longaberger Company may have gone out of business in 2018 but they left a large reminder of their products just east of Newark, Ohio, in the form of a seven-story version of the Longaberger medium market basket. Not only is the building known as the world’s largest basket, it’s also one of the largest architectural “ducks”–buildings shaped like what they sell. The nomenclature for ducks and decorated sheds was developed by Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi in the 1960s and 70s as they studied architecture in Las Vegas but, while few and far between, examples span the United States.

Built in 1997, the Longaberger Building has had a short history, but has attracted wide attention. Its recent vacancy and sale have been followed by locals as well as preservationists and interested individuals farther afield. Good news: the buyer intends to restore the building and retain its basket shape, handles and all. Stay tuned for details on its new use!

Got a favorite duck or decorated shed? Tell me more!

Sources and Further Reading:

Ducks vs. Decorated Sheds: get the details and some great examples in this 99 Percent Invisible article.

Interested in novelty buildings? I’ve written about a few before: Seattle’s Hat N Boots and Chicago’s North Ave Boat House.

The Longaberger Building in the news:

  • Atlas Obscura: Longaberger Basket Building
  • Curbed: Longaberger basket building finally sold
  • Arch Paper: Ohio’s famous basket building finally sold

7 thoughts on “Sometimes Architecture’s a Picnic (Literally)

      1. Oh yes, it really makes me wonder what on earth they will do with it! I almost thought I might see a loaf of french bread and a bottle of wine sticking out of the top! LOL (Stereotypical, yes, but it sure would be cool)! Cher xo

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