We love weird property Wednesday and this week we have a humdinger, the brilliant basket building in Ohio.

Known to the local residents as The Basket this quirky office building in Newark, Ohio, USA was designed to mimic one of the Longaberger Company´s hand crafted products, except 160 times larger.  The late company chairman Dave Longaberger had a dream to house his 500 head office employees in this crazy purpose-built structure.  It took $30m and two years to build and created problems for the designers because of its inwardly tapering base that mimics the shape of a real basket.  Particularly challenging were the two 75 ton 300 foot handles that took 18 months to complete and include special heating elements to ensure that ice doesn’t form.  Falling ice would be a real problem as there is a glass atrium just below.  The building is clad in stucco and has won several awards for its landscape and construction.

Sadly Mr Longaberger died in 1999 but his daughters continue his legacy which includes not just a successful business, but a charitable foundation that supports the local community and helps preserve historical buildings. Dave Longaberger overcame problems with stuttering and epilepsy to build a multi-million business and charity having been born into a poor family.  Dave worked as a door-to-door salesman to overcome his stutter and eventually built up small businesses in response to local needs in his community.  The Longberger Company became a big success when he found a way of working with individual crafters to produce a range of basketware that was individually made and signed.  Dave was taught how to weave by his father when he was just a boy. Now his products have become highly desirable and collectable. His story is truly the American dream – even if it is basket shaped!

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Dawn Blake

Dawn Blake

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