House on the Rock, Spring Green, Wisconsin
Tribute by Jeffrey Sward
 
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Located in Spring Green, Wisconsin, the House on the Rock began as a personal retreat for owner Alex Jordan in 1940s. The original house was a mere 14 rooms of living space. However, Alex was a compulsive collector with a great deal of imagination. Over the years the House on the Rock expanded exponentially to become the ultimate collection of collections.

Several of the House on the Rock's features are particularly remarkable.

The Infinity Room is approximately 300 feet long and constructed progressively smaller over its length. At one end the Infinity Room is 30 feet wide. At the other end the Infinity Room is one inch wide. The resulting effect as seen from the large end is looking into infinity. Most people would consider this enough for one room. Not Alex. In addition, 218 feet of the infinity room is cantilevered over the adjacent valley with no vertical support over the entire distance. Still not resting, Alex added 3,264 windows allowing visitors to look in every direction.

The House on the Rock houses the world's largest carousel. This is not particularly remarkable. What is remarkable is that the carousel is completely indoors in the "cherub" room. The ceiling of the cherub room is covered with mannequins suspended from the ceiling. Not resting with just suspended mannequins, Alex attires the mannequins with full sized angel wings and togas. The togas are strategically placed to cover only half of each mannequin. A ceiling covered with dozens of suspended half-naked toga-clad angel mannequins. High concept.

The House on the Rock also houses an incredible collection of animated mechanical music machines. These music machines run off compressed air. All of the machines are operational and can be played by visitors with purchased tokens. Generally the music machines play acoustic instruments, such as violins, clarinets, trumpets, etc. In some cases mannequins operate the instruments. Many of these mechanical music machines consist of dozens of instruments. Several of the machines are so large that one machine requires its own room. The ultimate, however, is the entire symphony orchestra mechanical music machine. The concept alone in incredible.

Any one of the above major features would make the House on the Rock a must visit. The House of the Rock has all three. And not wanting to rest, in addition to these blockbuster attractions, room after room is filled with collection after collection. Dolls. Doll houses. Suits of Armor. Paperweights. This list goes on.

Visit The House on the Rock web site.

The House on the Rock has won the coveted golden flamingo award for attractions of exceptional concept and scope. Several times over.

A partial list of House of the Rock displays:

  • Animated, Automated Music Machines
  • Antique Guns
  • Bell Gallery
  • Bronze Statuary
  • Burma Shave Signs.
  • Cannon Of Colossal Proportions
  • Carved Ivories.
  • Display Gardens
  • Dollhouses (over 250)
  • Fantasy Doll Merry-Go-Rounds with Hundreds Of Bisque Dolls (Three-Level And Two-Level).
  • Gate House
  • Hand-Carved Cork
  • Infinity Room with 3,264 Windows
  • Massive Fireplaces
  • Mechanical Banks
  • Miniature Scale-Model Circuses
  • Model Airplane Replicas
  • Model Control Tower
  • Museum-Sized Model Ships (over 200)
  • Nostalgic Small town USA.
  • Oriental Art
  • Paperweights
  • Replicas Of The Tower Of London's Crown Jewels
  • Rube Goldberg Contraption
  • Scrimshaw
  • Sea Creature With Octopus And Whaling Expedition (200 foot)
  • Stained Glass Lamps
  • Streets Of Yesterday (Entire Street Of Shops And Homes)
  • Suits Of Armor
  • Three Large Theatre Organ Consoles
  • Three-Story Bookcase Filled With Rare Books.
  • Tile Car
  • Titanic Display
  • Waterfalls
  • Weapons Exhibit
  • World's Largest Carousel
  • World's Only Mechanically Operated Symphony Orchestra
 

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