Monday, October 14, 2013

House on the Rock, Part I

If you have never been to the House on the Rock, but want to go, skip these post!  It is better to see it with fresh eyes.

House on the Rock, August 2013
The House, Infinity Room, Automated music

So we took an afternoon to visit House on the Rock while visiting the midwest.  I had seen it once back in the late 80s and didn't remember much.  But in the meantime we have both read  American Gods by Neil Gaiman so we really wanted to visit.  Wow.  Holy cow.  Glad I went back.  If I start to feel bad about keeping too much stuff, I will just remember these 4 hours and Alex Jordan, the builder and creator.  For each photo of one item, just keep in mind there are probably 20 or 100 or 200 of each in the collection.

The first things you see are about 20 of these decorative planters are in the parking lot.  Take a close look so you don't miss the dragons. Designed by Alex Jordan as many things in the collection are.

 Alex was fascinated with Japanese gardens.  Here are some of the grounds and gardens,  


 But items that don't fit the theme are welcome as well.

 A wide variety of plants are grown in the conservatory.

 As you go inside the actual house you meet more dragons

 carved boats

 And whatever this is!

 It is reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright's style, though it is 30 years after Falling Water.  Talesin is just 5 miles down the road....

AT THoTR there is a greater mix of styles, Tiffany lamp, African sculpture, Asian iron working and bringing nature inside.  All within 5 square feet.  Oh, plus the red carpet ceiling.

 This is the famous infinity room.  It is a relatively short hallway, made to look like it goes to infinity.

 I am out at the actual end.  We were lucky to visit on a slow day and got the room to ourselves for 5 minutes.

 It is a cantilever and all that room hangs out over space.  And Jordan wan't an engineer, he gave his workers instructions every morning because the plans were in his head.  If it didn't work out, he ripped it out and rebuilt.  So you definitely feel safe out in the infinity the wasp nests outside the window....

 Part of the gun collection which seemed to be full of any type of unusual gun.

All sorts of automation was interesting to Jordan.  
 Here is curiosity from the bank collection-dropping in a coin sets it in motion.  
This of course is the dying drunkard.  Which was maybe  meant to send a moral message to railroad passengers?  THoTR was purposefully designed for entertainment, not like a museum-there are almost no information signs on any of the exhibits.

We played as many of the automated music machines as we could.
The colossal gigantic calliope is the size of a steam engine-those statues are life size-and the whole thing has three levels of instruments.

 My favorite are the jugs which have little ribbons at the mouths so you can see when the air is blowing across them.  

 This is the Blue Danube room.  I am not sure that all of the music comes from the actual instruments, but even I could hear that the piano needs to be tuned, so at least some of it real?

 The violin set-up is intricate to say the least.

 There were so many music rooms that they all started to look alike.

But they clearly try to make each distinctive.  This one had multiple saints up in the ceiling and  red velvet covering the walls.

No comments:

Post a Comment