It’s not often you get to work in a giant basket. But this is one of the world’s strangest buildings.
No town likes a basket quite like Dresden in Ohio. And no person liked baskets quite like Dave Longarberger. He and his family have been producing handcrafted maple baskets since the 1920’s. As well as tapping into the demand for woven party baskets, he also dreamt up the idea of running the growing business from the world’s largest replica of one.
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 covers 25 acres, weighing 8,000 – 9,000 tons with a square footage of 180,000. The basket handles alone weigh almost 150 tons and are constantly heated during the winter months, to avoid ice and snow deposits forming on them.
The building is made of stucco, a plaster type material that is made from cement, sand and lime, applied over a steel structure. Stucco provides a hard, reliable, durable and low cost surface that requires little maintenance and helps create the look of an actual Longaberger Basket.
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. After his death, further basket-shaped buildings were vetoed by his daughters.
But Longarberger’s vision has inspired others in Ohio to imitate his bizarre taste in architecture. The World’s Largest Apple Basket, standing at over 29 feet tall can be found in Frazeysburg, Ohio.