House On The Rock…

As mentioned in the text on Wiki about House on the Rock, it probably is not well known outside of the Midwest. I have visited there on two occasions years apart and was equally amazed by the place each time.  Here is a little about the story of its creator the house.

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The House on the Rock, originally opened in 1959, is a complex of architecturally unique rooms, streets, gardens and shops designed by Alex Jordan, Jr. It is located north of Dodgeville, a city in Iowa County, south of Spring Green, Wisconsin and is a regional tourist attraction….

Both of Jordan’s biographers relate a story told by Sid Boyum, which places the inspiration for the house in a meeting between Alex Jordan, Jr. and Frank Lloyd Wright, at some unspecified time between 1914 and 1923. Jordan Sr. drove with Boyum to Taliesin to show Wright the plans for a building, the Villa Maria in Madison. Jordan worshipped the famous architect and hoped for his approval. Wright looked at the plans and told Jordan: “I wouldn’t hire you to design a cheese crate or a chicken coop. You’re not capable.” Fuming, on the drive back on Highway 23, Jordan pointed to a spire of rock and told Boyum: “I’m going to put up a Japanese house on one of those pinnacle rocks and advertise it.”Balousek says Wright “apparently didn’t forget the incident”, noting that Wright “complained publicly to Iowa County officials about the house the Jordans were building” and bought a nearby piece of property, “perhaps as a way to get back at Jordan.”

House on the Rock-3I can only imagine how devastated Alex Jordon was to find out how little his hero thought of him. Given what he eventually developed I’m sure he became paranoid about proving Frank Loyd Wright wrong! To say that House on the Rock is an eccentric place is to put it very mildly. It seems to go on endlessly with room after room of very unusual items.

There are self-playing instruments, and room after room of things to be seen.  If you are ever in  Southeastern Wisconsin its certainly worth a visit if you enjoy off-the-wall things.

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