What the heck?! It’s a GIANT picnic basket!
The world’s largest picnic basket, as a matter of fact.
Located in Newark Ohio, this behemoth of a basket is a dream come true for Dave Longaberger, founder of The Longaberger Company.
Yes, it’s the world’s largest picnic basket and it doubles as a way cool office building.
The basket is a replica — 160 times larger — of Longaberger’s Medium Market Basket. It’s 192 ft. long by 126 ft. wide at the bottom, spreading to 208-ft. long by 142-ft. wide at the roofline. It is a magnificent sight. Source
This post may be a bit of a stretch for this blog but it is a building and it is a home office — so it qualifies.
My Experience With Longaberger And Newark Ohio
Recently, I was scanning some old photos into my computer and came across the above photo in my collection.
I took the photo several years ago when I visited my grandma in Newark for her 90th birthday.
I was born in Newark, and it was amazing to see my birthplace after so many years. So much had changed, and yet so much was just as I had remembered.
I lived next door to Mound Builders Memorial, a 2000 year old ceremonial center built by the Hopewell culture — and it hadn’t changed a bit. Heck, we used to ride our snowsleds down the slopes of the earthworks. I’m talking about in the late 1960’s and early 70’s. We didn’t have a clue as to the historic value of the area. We were just kids having fun. All we knew was that it was a great place to ride our sleds and bicycles. I think they kind of frown on that now.
Back to the topic…
My parents had mentioned to me during my stay in Newark that I needed to do a little sightseeing on my return trip home to Georgia. They said that I needed to stop and take a look at this truly EXTRA-ordinary building built by the Longaberger basket company.
With camera in hand, I located the Longaberger corporate headquarters (how could I miss it?) and I took a photo. I only took one photo! I must’ve been in awe, because anyone that knows me knows that I’m snap-happy.
It’s 7 stories of steel and stucco. Completed in 1997, it’s a remarkable engineering project that won the prestigious Build Ohio Award in 1998.
The Longaberger corporate headquarters on State Route 16 is a local landmark and a well-known example of novelty architecture, since it takes the shape of the company’s biggest seller, the “Medium Market Basket”. The 7-story, 180,000-square-foot building was designed by The Longaberger Company, and executed by NBBJ and Korda Nemeth Engineering. The building opened in 1997. The basket handles weigh almost 150 tons and can be heated during cold weather to prevent ice damage. Originally, Dave Longaberger wanted all of the Longaberger buildings to be shaped like baskets, but only the headquarters was completed at the time of his death. Source
Here’s another picture of the Longaberger basket building at night from RoadsideAmerica.com:
UPDATE #2: The next best place to visit is the Longaberger Homestead. It’s located between Dresden and Frazeysburg, Ohio. The Homestead offers shopping, dining, an opportunity to weave your own Longaberger basket and more!