Wednesday, June 18, 2008

House on the Rock

The House on the Rock, in south-central Wisconsin, is the grand vision of Alex Jordan, who believed that sights and sounds were the most effective means of stimulating the senses. The self guided tour takes most of a day. Besides the original main building, there are lots of other buildings that house his collections, all connected by walkways.

The first part of the tour takes you through the original house. The most amazing part is the Infinity Room, which juts out 218 feet from the main house without supports underneath. The room has 3264 windows! I'd hate to be a window washer here...

I didn't get a picture of the outside, but here's a picture of a picture.

At first the collections seemed to be a lot like the ones in Place de la Musique -- lots of animated and automated music machines.

But here's a whole orchestra!

Some of the sets were huge. My favorite was The Mikado, shown here.

Even the drummers eyes and facial expression were animated.

A huge carousel, the biggest in the world, was the highlight of the tour.

It's 80 feet wide and 35 feet tall, and has 20,000 lights.

But the most unique thing was that of the 269 animals, there is not one horse's head!

In another building, there was even a multi-level doll carousel. There were many other collections in the complex: organs, doll houses, crown jewels, armor, weapons, fine arts of the Orient, Burma Shave signs, mechanical banks, Baranger Motions, etc, etc.

One building housed a collection of miniature circuses that contains one million pieces.

And one had a 200-foot long whale battling a giant octopus. This was the last thing Alex Jordan worked on before he died in 1989.

To watch a segment that was on the CBS Early Show about the House on the Rock, click here (You have to watch a short commercial first)


  1. Sorry I had to miss this. We just came into Iowa.

  2. WOW!!! What a house!! Makes mine look a bit boring.

  3. But just imagine having to clean it!
    That really does look interesting - I'll put it on my list. But I wouldn't go out on that unsupported Infinity Room.

  4. Great! I love seeing all the posts about the gathering there at Paul's. I sure wish I could be there, but I have been hearing about all the fun you are having. I'm looking forward to getting up that way and joining the group in a few weeks.


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