Martha and I have visited Alex Jordan’s
“The House on the Rock” three times in the last 22 years. There are few words that can described this place but delightful, stimulating, weird, macabre and muddled are a few that fit.Boston Globe reporter Christopher Mudder described it thusly “I’m not sure which was more frightening – the endless yards of asthma-inducing blood red shag carper, the 200 foot whale like sea monster fighting a giant squid, or the endless rooms of dolls attired in Victorian garb with blank, soul sucking stares. One of these toy tableaus depicted a doll funeral, with Lucifer himself ominously hovering. You see, I told you these dolls were evil.”My take on the “house” is that it is delightfully different. I can only assume that Alex Jordan had night mares and lucid dreams so vivid he attempted to recreate them into tangible displays. In any case if you’re within one hundred miles of the House on the Rock you should make it your business to visit.
Jordan collected things that were ancient, interesting, weird and macabre. When his vision of an object wasn’t satisfied by what he was able to find, he had objects created to go into the tableaus he was creating. The House is literally built on a pinnacle of rock that overlooks the valley above Spring Green. It utilizes the terrain as well as the views all around.
As always, click on any photo to enlarge it.
Part of the house features a room called the infinity room. It is a needle shaped horizontal spire that juts out over a 75′ cliff and gives the illusion that it goes on forever. It actually is one hundred feet in length and is self supporting. However, it bounces and moves under the weight of people walking to the end which is a bit unnerving.
A video snippet of our visit
Oddities abound in this place
Window by Tiffany
Steam trains and working steam engines in the Mens room
An unequaled gun collection
The Giant Calliope named “Gladiator”
Hundreds of ship models but with a twist. Each of them had been sunk
The Rube Goldberg room
I hope you enjoyed a glimpse of the House on the Rock. It is really worth going to see.