Midwest Destination

Midwest Destination:
The House On the Rock
Spring Green, Iowa Co, Wisconsin

The House On the Rock

houserock.jpg - 43303 Bytes With an hour and a half until we could get into our motel room, we decided we had time to take in The House on the Rock and get back by check-in. We were wrong. The exhibit was much more extensive than we had anticipated. It took two and a half hours and that was by maintaining a steady pace through much of it.

Expensive? Yes, at $19.50 a person, it was far more than we normally are willing to spend for a tourist attraction. Was it worth it? Yes. But to truely get your money's worth, you would want to take your time and mull over each of the exhibits.

Some exhibits I found more interesting than others. Other exhibits, my husband found more interesting. Its all a matter of interests and taste.

houserock2.jpg - 50250 Bytes The house itself was fascinating. It was built during the 1940s by a visionary man named Alex Jordan who discovered a 60-foot sandstone chimney rock and decided to build a house on it. He built it as a weekend retreat and never expected it to become a tourist attraction. However, people kept coming to see the architectural marvel and Jordan soon started charging admission. The most unusual feature of the house is its Infiinity Room which is an unsupported 218 feet of walkway with windows on both sides that has a breathtaking view of the valley below. [See below]

Jordan must have been an unusual sort of fellow and perhaps short. The doorways and ceilings are lower than modern homes which made it feel somewhat claustrophobic. The rooms were far too dark with little lighting. While that probably set a serene mood, it didn't make for easy picture taking or for that matter even ease is seeing the displays themselves. It would have been more interesting if it were more visible.

houserock1.jpg - 44811 Bytes I thought that since the price was already high, the coin-operated exhibits were a bit tacky and should have been free. We bypassed most of that expense by walking behind another couple who put tokens in most of the musical displays.

The interior of the house was also a bit stuffy and could have used some air-conditioning or improved ventilation. The musty odor was probably because of the limestone and wood used in its design.

The self-guided tour includes: the house itself with a catwalk out above the trees, and the antique collections which included: musical instruments of all kinds that are constructed to play music [usually after a token is inserted], crown jewels from England, a replica of the Buckingham Palace, antique vehicles, 3 carousels [the largest in the world], a life-sized replica of a whale being attacked by a giant squid, sailor boats and everything related to sailing, a amazing gun collection, knights in shining armour in fighting scenes, a large dog and an elephant in amour, a circus display in toy size and many life size animals, doll houses and dolls, carriages for the rich and elite [one that would have been fit for Cinderella], old vats for making beer, bells used in cathedrals, .... This list could go on and on, in fact, that is exactly what the exhibits do - they go on and on and on. While I did find many of the displays interesting, I also thought it was excessive. Not satisfied with collecting enough animals for one large carousel, he had to collect enough for three carousels and hang them all over the walls, too. On some items, it seemed like overkill.

Even with the few criticisms, I would recommend that everyone visit The House On the Rock at least once in their lifetime - however, perhaps you shouldn't take the kids until their older because of the extensiveness of the exhibits - in otherwords, its long...

I would show you other pictures, but because of their poor lighting, they didn't turn out. Sorry, you'll have to visit the House On the Rock yourself...

Check out their website at www.TheHouseontheRock.com

Have fun in your own backyard!
Connie Eccles
CEO of ComPortOne

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