ReadMikeNow is a freelance writer who loves to travel. He likes to find unique stories about interesting people and places.
The House on the Rock is a structure made up of rooms, shops, gardens and more. It is considered to be architecturally unique by all who visit. It is located in the Spring Green area of Wisconsin and is a popular tourist attraction. The structure was designed by a man named Alex Jordan, Jr. Many of the local residents will tell visitors the House on the Rock resembles a number of different things, yet is not actually one of those things it resembles. It may be called a house, but doesn't function as a house. The House on the Rock in many ways resembles a museum. It is loaded with a number of objects put into groups and put on display for visitors to experience. Many of the exhibits seem to be designed to confuse visitors rather than inform them.
Alex Jordan, Jr. (1914 – 1989)
He was recognized as the eccentric architectural genius behind the design of the House on the Rock. Writers have described Jordan as a reclusive person and a shadowy figure who behaved like the late Howard Hughes. Those who knew him agree, Jordan did not like publicity and tried to avoid personal publicity. During his life, Jordan attempted a number of different careers. Eventually, he committed himself to his love of architecture and electronic devices. A love he had since he was young. The 450 foot tall Deer Shelter Rock was one of Jordan's favorite wilderness retreats. It was 1945 when he started to build a house on Deer Shelter Rock. His goal was to provide a building that promoted the concept of a structure design based on fusion with nature. As he got older and had more money to spend, he acquired a large number of objects at very reasonable prices. He'd use these objects for a new exhibit or trade them to get new objects for an existing exhibit.
The House on the Rock was built during the course of fifty years. Jordan started the construction in the late 1940s. Active construction was happening through the 1990s. This is the time when Jordan's last designs for the house were finished. The structure's creation and funding were from the tourist trade. The locals supported the idea of a structure built on an isolated huge rock. During the 1950s, Jordan hosted a number of popular parties at the structure for hundreds of guests. Nobody was charged admission to the structure until 1960. This is when it officially became a tourist attraction.
Once it was open, Jordan's House on the Rock became a very popular tourist attraction. The admission prices were increased to reduce the crowds that came to see it. The increased admission had little or no impact on the number of people wanting to see the House on the Rock. As the money kept coming in, Jordan was making quite a bit and kept putting the financial success right back into his creation. He would build features for the structure that people found elaborate and outrageous. This only increased the popularity of the structure. Jordan constructed an indoor Main Street complete with shops constructed to real scale. There is a huge carousel that has a wide variety of animals with horses being the exception. There is a large diorama of a squid and whale engaged in an epic battle. There are also rooms filled with a number of different musical instruments that are robotically played without the help of humans. There are also special doll houses and more.
When visitors travel through the small spaces, there are a number of unique elements that can be seen and then disappear. There is a functioning kitchen that is sunken into the floor. There is a live tree growing up through the ceiling. There is a sofa that's carpeted and sits very close to a fireplace that is large enough to cook a regular sized person. Visitors notice there is a strong Japanese influence in the home's decor. All things have carpeting and are located on the top or base of a short number of stairs. As visitors explore the structure, the robotic bands can be heard at various places playing classics tunes such as Bolero.
Outside The House
Once visitors get outside of the house, they continue to have very unique experiences. There is a Streets of Yesterday building. It is an indoor recreation facility designed in the Victorian era. In this place, people can choose from a variety of coin-operated music machines. There are robotic fingers and unseen singing that start after machines are given a token. Visitors are left wondering if the instruments are being played by people or are on tape. There is also a blimp hangar that is three levels called Heritage of the Sea. There are a number of ship replicas. A ramp with railing provides a climb to the top part of the chamber. This is where visitors can make their way to the exit.
Visitors who go here are greeted with a wide variety carousel music. There are over 235 carousel creatures. They have been collected from all over the world. Some have a demonic appearance and seem to be only half human. Some say it looks like a runaway circus from the netherworld. Hanging from the walls are hundreds of mannequin angels, and some happen to be topless. Some are hanging from the ceiling and rotating. In this room, visitors are able to see over 180 chandeliers. To leave this room, visitors must go through the open mouth of a dragon and walk down its throat that has thick carpeting. This is also another place where visitors can use tokens on music machines.
This room has a number of catwalks that cross one another. This makes it possible for visitors to take videos and pictures of the large theater organs from various angles. There are also huge copper vat as well as large chandeliers made from red glass. Visitors are able to exit this room and look forward to seeing the gift store, arts village store and more.
After Alex Jordan died in 1989, the pace of creation for the House on the Rock slowed down for the first time in decades. The new owners were picked by Jordan and agreed to maintain his vision for the structure. One of the most recent additions since Jordan's death is the Alex Jordan Center. Visitors are able to see an introductory video, here inspirational quotes and sit on the well-worn lawn chair Jordan like to use when he went to view the different workshops. When people come to visit the House on the Rock, it's difficult not to be overwhelmed with the number of objects available for viewing. It also provides a number of experience not able to be had in any other place.
5754 State Road 23
Spring Green, WI 53588
Monday – Sunday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Location Of House On The Rock
Readmikenow (author) on April 30, 2018:
Peggy, yeah, it is a fun place to see. Many people don't know about it. Suggested it to some friends and they thought it was quite a place to experience.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 29, 2018:
We visited the House on the Rock in Wisconsin. They have obviously added many things since our last visit in the 1970s. It is a strange yet interesting tourist attraction.
Readmikenow (author) on August 31, 2016:
Thanks. If you have a chance to see The House On The Rock I recommend it.
roselinsojan from India,Kerala. on August 30, 2016:
Readmikenow (author) on September 16, 2015:
Thanks for stopping by Niecey Doc. A place that once you visit you don't forget.
Niecey Docherty from Firth, Nebraska on September 16, 2015:
Very interesting. Definitely unique! I watched the video too. Fascinating. Kind of creepy though!