Well I’ve been living in Milwaukee for the better part of a year, but I’ve just begun to explore the zone outside the city limits, which the nice folks at the farmers’ market tell me, is that fabled land called “Wisconsin.”
I was afraid it might be a bit dull, to a New York sophisticate like myself.
What a relief to encounter true and large-scale weirdness.
This spring, on a cold, rainy day, I rented a car and ventured out-of-town. At first, it looked a lot like where I grew up, especially the cows, but driving along the Wisconsin River, toward the upper Mississippi, we entered the “Driftless Area,” winding through sharp little ridges and valleys, sometimes wooded.
And then we visited a very strange place indeed.
Even weeks later, thinking it over calmly, my reaction is still the same – it seems less like a real memory, than a drunken, moldering dreamscape. Fun, even charming, but also a bit spooky.
About forty miles west of Madison, beginning in the late 1940’s, and working through the ’50’s, a man built a house in the woods, on top of a rocky outcrop. He called it “The House on the Rock.”
In a pretty commonplace region of cow pastures, woodlots, small towns, this experiment sticks out, literally and figuratively, as a strange, strange place.
A stray fragment of Lewis Carroll’s fantasy realm, Tim Burton as the architect, soundtrack by Tom Waits.
An immense cabinet of curiosities, sideshow extraordinaire, and hoarder’s storehouse of earthly “treasures,” the place where Antiques Roadshow goes off the road.
A crackerjack palace, decorated by Liberace, with every shelf & nook & cranny stocked by the Ringling Brothers & John Lennon, tripping on LSD, raiding every flea market, boardwalk, and carnival, Rube Goldberg tinkering in the back room.
P. T. Barnum’s ghost wanders through, and is humbled.
We didn’t plan on being there.
Family was visiting – – all of them Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiasts – – and we were headed to Taliesin, Wright’s home and workshop.
The two houses turned out to be a yin & yang thing.
The day we visited Taliesin, the weather was perfect, and the guides were well-informed and well-rehearsed, if a bit dry.
Wright’s artistic creation was well worth the drive – – an organic-seeming creation, the model of the perfect prairie house, in harmony with its surroundings, and almost spartan in its clean lines.
Yeah, so, we can talk about all that art & balance & perfectness & good taste some other time.
And now for something completely different.
Because the day after visiting Taliesin, we went somewhere else entirely – – a place all about the unhinged and the off-kilter and questionable, about trickery and cheesy excess – – you know, more like the America we actually live in, and that’s what this post is about.
It is truly impressive. I remembered a quote from Dolly Parton:
“It takes a lot of time and money to look this cheap, honey.”
It was a weekday, off-season, and the weather was crummy – – cold, gray, windy – – and that is absolutely when you should visit, when the place is nearly empty. We almost had the place to ourselves.
Just a few miles from Taliesin, but it was another world.
Just like Frank Lloyd Wright, another local guy also built a home and workshop up on a hill.
It was described to me as “interesting…different…maybe the biggest tourist attraction in the state,” by someone who’d never been there, but we decided to stop by.
I hadn’t read anything about it, and you cannot see the place from the road. The lane winding through the trees gives you the first inkling – – lined with giant bronze vessels, with metal lizards attached to the sides.
To call it a house is inadequate. Yes, there is a house – most of it, a dim, low-ceiled, cave-like conglomeration of amateur rough stone, old stained glass, church bells, firepits, and… shag carpeting. Lots of musty-smelling shag carpeting.
Lots & lots of tchotchkes, statuettes, knick-knacks, bottles, iron pots, etc.
Ebony figures from Africa coexist with imitation Tiffany lights.
Lots of graying, yellowing, browning books – the man read anything and everything, apparently. A wood staircase is lined with bookshelves, for three or four floors.
You come to a big room with slanted windows, looking out over the countryside, and carpeted tiers, what I believe was called, back in the day, “conversation pits.”
And then, the first bit of weirdness – you realize the music you’ve been hearing, appears to come from a mechanized little orchestra, sawing away at “Bolero.” Complicated contraptions, looking like drunken mashups of hydraulic valve lifters and bits of pinball machines, with a dash of Edward Scissorhands, seem to be playing actual instruments. You’ll encounter a number of these robotic ensembles, sometimes, I think, just going through the motions while recorded music played, but drums and other instruments were definitely playing – – amazing, impressive, and often sounding kinda awful.
If Fred Flintstone moved to the Jetson’s neighborhood, and Wilma started hitting eBay and garage sales, this would be their house.
So I guess I’d call it Groovy, or Cool, Daddy-O, or possibly Yabba-Dabba Doo!
It’s fun, kind of cozy, and the colored glass windows are great, but mostly it’s a higgledy-piggledy maze of eccentricity and clutter, with a dash of tackiness.
But the experience hadn’t really even begun.
The entire complex is a “house” in the same way the USS Intrepid is a “boat.”
You’ll notice I haven’t said anything about “the man” who built this place. His name was Alex Jordan, Jr., and he apparently was what my grandmother used to call “a real character.” And I’m not going to tell you about him. You may have already googled him, you definitely should.
There’s also a fun video filmed there, by the band “10,000 Maniacs,” (from Jamestown, NY, yea!). It’s a re-make of Roxy Music’s “More Than This.” (The video was done after Natalie Merchant left the band, and their cover isn’t as good as the original, but it gives a good idea of the place.) https://vimeo.com/108524874
You go up to the roof to admire the view, then down past a minimal, vintage kitchen, and a couple more Buddhas. Did I mention there are a whole lot of Buddhas sitting around? Indoors and out, big and small, in gravel courtyards and tucked into niches. They seemed a little dubious, like garden store knockoffs, looking less contemplative than baffled, just like the rest of us.)
And as the sound of the endless “Bolero” begins, mercifully, to fade, you hear, around the corner and down a corridor, the theme from “The Godfather.”
And then you enter something that’s that’s not weird, cluttered, and uneasy, but just plain great.
The Infinity Room.
An enclosed, glassed-in room – – a covered bridge shaped like a Viking longship, juts out, cantilevered to what seems an impossible distance! You quickly realize the optical illusion, and (spoiler alert) it really isn’t infinite, but it is over two hundred feet long, with a glass window to look down at the far end, at the pine trees and boulders you’re suspended over.
There’s a rocky outcrop underneath, somewhere, to balance the weight of the thing, but you can’t see it, and it just seems like the coolest treehouse-and-walk-the-gangplank-observation-room any daydreaming kid ever sketched in his notebook during geometry class.
The wind was kicking up, the day we were there, and the room creaked and swayed a bit, which was cool, but you could tell it was OK.
And anyway if it did collapse, how cool it would be to toboggan down the hill, through the pine trees, yeah, with the theme from the Godfather echoing in our ears, and the tinkling sound of countless imitation Tiffany lights smashing!
A wonderful external picture on the “Highest Bridges” website http://www.highestbridges.com/wiki/index.php?title=Infinity_Room_at_the_House_on_the_Rock
Outside, in the fresh air, smelling the pines, is a garden with a little waterfall, in the Japanese style, as done by a Holiday Inn.
And connected to the house, by a series of roofed, somewhat decrepit walkways, are labyrinthine warehouses. You walk past a waterwheel, into a sort of millhouse, with suits of armor and random artifacts everywhere, including the men’s room.
You are entering a delirious steampunk world.
Acres of massive hangers, filled to the brim with outrageous jumbles of collectibles mixed with giant industrial machinery (an iron drive wheel, bigger than a car, a massive steam tractor, a ship’s propeller, huge electric generators) arranged into cityscapes, draped and intersected with dim colored lights.
I don’t mean a few Christmas lights. They walked into J. C. Penny, and bought every made-in-Taiwan, ruby-glass kitchen light fixture, and grouped them into interwoven, homemade chandeliers of impossible sizes and scales, dangling eerily.
It is a glorious shambles – – creepy in places, charming in others, and sometimes a bit sad. I don’t want to call it “surreal,” because I think “hyper-real” is closer to the truth.
If you’ve ever played “Myst,” a mystery video game from the ‘90’s, you’ll have a similar sense of a semi-abandoned fantasy realm.
The dimly-lit corridors and sloping catwalks are sometimes a bit disorienting.
You can feed tokens into antique arcade games – some work, some don’t – decrepit musical machines from a hundred years ago, some still squawking out tunes from Edison rolls, others plinking plaintively from music boxes, or huffing asthmatically from dusty pneumatic systems.
Life-size mannikins jerk into action, pistons and gears and cranks beat out tunes.
Player piano rolls unroll, mallets & hammers tap on bells, drums, glass cylinders, chimes.
We dance to a Charleston-era tune wheezing from a massive ancestor of the jukebox.
Describing this place seems kind of impossible. Nothing really does it justice.
You may think I exaggerate.
No, my regular readers protest, not Robbie! Not that straight arrow, scrupulously-reliable-fact-checking-chronicler-of the American Way!
And this may all seem like pretty tame stuff, really. It’s just the volume of it all that kind of swamps you. Like that scene in “Moscow on the Hudson,” where the recent immigrant from Russia, overwhelmed by choices, faints in the breakfast cereal aisle. And the dusty stillness of some sections – – they really ought to put bells on the darn maintenance guys, so when they’re tinkering with something behind the scenes, and then step out suddenly, they don’t give you a heart attack.
I got a drink of water, straightened up, and told myself “We’re Americans, darn it, we like stuff! The more the merrier!” And pressed on.
The Smithsonian is far, far more extensive, with over 100 million artifacts, and is often called “America’s Attic.”
Sometimes in idle moments, I wonder what those people want with, for example, 140,000 taxidermied bats, but it’s Washington, D.C. another focal point of weirdness.
The House on the Rock is on a more modest scale, but its chaotic and mostly unlabeled collection seems worthy of being “America’s Basement,” at the very least. Parts of it might be the props storeroom for Cecille B. DeMille.
Sometimes it’s a labyrinthine museum, with glass cases along claustrophobic aisles, and sometimes, like an antediluvian amusement park
And another difference from any other collection of Americana I’ve visited. – -some of this stuff is junk. By which I mean, it’s unabashedly phony. Homemade neo-Victorian nonsense is jumbled together with genuine antiques.
A room of firearms contained clearly fantastical creations, like 36-shot pepperbox pistols, that looked to be cobbled together from bits of old piping. The flintlocks appear to be brass-bedecked tourist items from the Casbah, or perhaps a theatrical prop room. Naval 32-pounders might have come from a movie set. Larger items, like a two-story cannon, must have come from defunct circuses or sideshows. They’re all together, and you’re left to distinguish the real from the imaginary. Or not.
Heading toward one of the larger mechanical bands, you walk up a dim brick-paved Street of Shops – – storefronts stuffed with antiques. I paused to take the picture below, of the pale, glass-eyed dolls, staring back from their baby carriages, and was left behind by my group.
And honestly, when the place is empty, it felt a bit creepy, a place one feels watched, and doesn’t want to be alone in. When a maintenance man appeared out of the shadows, I froze for a couple of heartbeats.
Overall, it’s not creepy. But still.
After admiring the first dozen dollhouses, I walked and walked past innumerable more examples, barely looking at the tiny tea sets and miniature domestic tableaus, and then, out of the corner of my eye, noticed one tiny figure had apparently given up on escaping, and had tucked a shotgun barrel under his chin.
The H.O.T.R boasts a number of carousels, but you cannot ride on them. The biggest, claimed to be the biggest indoor carousel in the country, has many creatures, but not a single horse.
Instead, the walls of the huge building are covered with the wooden horses.
Hovering overhead are a host of dissolute-looking department store mannequins, like vengeful ghosts from shuttered Macy’s and Gimbels, ready to snatch people like me, who fail to color coordinate – –
tarnished angels in the architecture, women in loose gowns, with huge wings attached.
I imagine they’re intended as angels, but, especially since some are missing hands, or suffering wardrobe malfunctions, they looked like inebriated and menacing Valkyries.
Another, smaller carousel, is reserved for hundreds of dolls. And at least one skeleton.
The carousels are spectacular.
At some point, just after looking at more spittoons than I’ve ever seen before (which spilled over, so to speak, into the adjoining exhibit areas), continuing to march along ramps, walkways, and corridors, feeling pretty stunned by the sheer mass of it all, we found ourselves in a nautical area.
And as you enter the four-story warehouse, with walkways and cases winding up the walls, looming over you is a giant model of a whale fighting a giant squid.
I could not estimate the number of ship models. Clippers, carracks, caravels, aircraft carriers. Some were museum quality, some were toy-like, and some would have looked at home hanging over the bar in Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. The Titanic hitting an iceberg. Big tin Spanish-American dreadnoughts. Scrimshaw, some real, some fake, scattered amongst the models.
Towards the end, shambling along in mostly stupefied silence, we entered the newest wing, for model airplanes. (Too tired to even attempt a pun.)
I actually feel that you can learn something from this place. I’m just not sure what that is. They call a lot of this stuff “memorabilia,” but what exactly are we remembering? Mostly, I’d say, those dreams we get after eating a pepperoni pizza, while watching Vincent Price in “House of Wax.”
One thing that popped in my head. The scale and variety of this vast repository, and the jumbling of steam engines, generators, and other industrial detritus, with the toys and old arcade amusements, strikes me as perfectly right & proper.
When American fired up the Industrial Age, it also started cranking out industrial entertainment, and decorative knickknacks. “The Theory of the Leisure Class” came out in 1899, and introduced the idea of “conspicuous consumption,” that is, buying stuff you don’t need, to show off.
Permanent “amusement parks,” like Coney Island, boardwalks & piers full of rides, penny arcades, and coin-fed fortune-telling machines, etc. and huge “expositions” or “World’s Fairs” started popping up, peddling technology and manufactured fantasy.
You can learn a lot about a place, and a time, by visiting serious museums, symphony halls, art galleries, etc.
– – but life isn’t all dioramas & statues, Beethoven & Rembrandts, is it?
It’s also beer & skittles, the Dead Kennedys, hotdog stands, snow globes, and graffiti.
In Wisconsin, a state that prides itself on its blue collar solidarity and working stiffs’ pleasures, the House on the Rock takes our pride in unrefined fare to a memorable extreme – – amassing thousands of the cheap thrills of yore, kitschy games, and diabolical-looking toys from the five & dimes, carnivals, fairs, and toy shops.
A house built not on sand, but on bric-a-brac.
It’s a blast.
Wear comfortable shoes, and brace yourself.
59 thoughts on “House on the Rock. A walk through mass production and madness.”
Man, I’m pretty sure I never heard of this place before. It’s basically unbelievable. How did anyone put something like that together?
They spent decades finding all this stuff, Neil. But I wondered how they got the huge stuff which I didn’t even photograph
Absolutely stunning report on the eccentricities of some Americans which one can experience preferably on a rainy dull day in Wisconsin. Fabulous post, Robert!
Thanks Peter. If people are going from Chicago to Minneapolis, it’s not far off the highway, they should definitely take a little detour
¡WOW! What a compendious post about this huge and diverse compendium of stuff. Like others here, I’d never heard of The House on the Rock but will gladly visit if I’m ever in the area again. That Infinity Room sure is something, as is your specious caption about it being the walkway connecting the Milwaukee and Chicago airports.
The Infinity Room is a very effective trick, it’s really cool
Finally I have a reason to go to Wisconsin. (My wife spent a couple of formative years there until she woke up one morning, put on mismatched socks, stared at her feet for a moment, and decided it was time to get out. Fast. She did.) Your writing is a joy to read.
That’s funny, about the socks. 🙂
Thank you, Michael, I usually don’t do puff pieces for tourist attractions, but this one deserves a plug.
Wisconsin tourist board should hire you.
WOW! This is an amazing post. I will need to revisit it to get all of the info available here. And i love the photos I could care less if they are not all pin point sharp focus because you are right it ads a great deal to the feel and atmosphere of bizarness of the place. WHEW! What a trip!
Thanks, Anne, it really is a Wow! kind of experience, I was surprised I’d never heard of it before.
These are fantastic places! What I wouldn’t give to write a horror story in “The House on the Rock!” It just lends itself to a “horror-writing residency” camp type thing.
The old mannequins overhead in the carousel room, reminded me of a Twilight Zone episode called “The After Hours” – – yes, a great place for a writing camp.
Oh…my…god…definitely in your element here! Ha! All about the Tom Waits soundtrack, totally get that. Have been playing one of my favorites of his from 2004 this past week…thanks for this pie of madness, brilliantly rendered!
Thanks, Bill, if you’re ever in Minneapolis, Chicago, Madison, it’s definitely worth the drive out to this place, you’d love it.
My folks lived in a house designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright student…and I’ve been to Falling Water (I think that’s the name) outside of Pittsburgh. Love his aesthetic.
That’s very cool, to live in a space from the Wright school. I visited that place, too, and wouldn’t it would be an amazing place to spend a summer, with the creek sounds all through the house.
Yes, too true! Camping without the inconveniences as it were.
“A stray fragment of Lewis Carroll’s fantasy realm, Tim Burton as the architect, soundtrack by Tom Waits.”—what wonderfully apt description. I would love to see this place, it looks and sounds fascinatingly eccentric, and more than a little spooky in places (something about automaton). Fabulous account.
Thanks, George, it was spooky in spots, but kind of beautiful in others. The carousel is a stunning sight.
What a remarkable place!
Yes it is, Mick, I was just surprised none of us had heard about it.
Nothing quite like discovering a well-kept secret!
Thank you, it’s a fun place.
I seem to recall Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” has its denouement at The House On The Rock.
I haven’t read/watched that, but just found several fan-sites discussing that scene, and it sounds like the actors got a real kick out of it.
Wow, you’ve really captured the place. I was taken there when I was a teen-ager, and don’t think I’ve recovered yet. Some of your photos are still giving me the shudders! It certainly would be a perfect setting for a horror flick. I’m picturing a terrified toddler on a tricycle screaming “REDRUM!” as he peddles madly down the tortured corridors….
Ha! that’s a great image, they should definitely hire a kid on a tricycle. 🙂
Stunning! Connecting all this to expositions and world’s fairs is right on target and reminded me of the PBS series about Queen Victoria (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_(British_TV_series) where about half of the third season reflected the era’s fascination with new technology and mass production. The last three episodes dramatized preparations for and the opening of The Great Exhibition of 1851 — the mother of them all — and is worth watching just to see that. I’ll bet you’d like it. Thanks for the great post and pictures!
Thanks, Dale, I will watch that, you’re right, sounds very interesting. If they ever invent time travel, the 19th c. “world’s fairs” would be high on my list.
Same here! 🙂
Somehow I’ve been under the impression that you were in Western NY all this time. I have to tell you that this post left me a little, at least metaphorically, breathless. So much to take in. You must have been a bit overwhelmed. The HOTR is unbelievable. Who has to inventory all that stuff?
I lived here a year after graduating college, and worked for City Year in a school. I moved back to work at the university here. I’m headed to NY on Sunday for a short visit
And I agree, it must be quite a job to keep track of all this stuff
The first time through, I only got halfway before I had to stop, take a breath, make a cuppa, and steady myself. The essential weirdness of the place itself, combined with your wacky humor (“you pay your Pence, and take your chances”) is pretty overwhelming. I can only imagine what it was like to visit in person. I have a friend who’s lived in Madison, and she’s never mentioned the place, so I sent this post to her with a few questions: like, “Why haven’t you told me about this?”
I do think I figured out one puzzle. The birch trees may be with the drums because some people prefer laminated birch for drumsticks, rather than the hickory, maple, or oak that also are used. I didn’t know this, but that was one association that seemed clear enough for a little more exploration.
I imagined several things while I was gaping at all the attractions, and one of my best fantasies was plopping Marie Kondo, the so-called ‘tidying expert’ into the middle of this and watching the convulsions set in. I thought about William Morris, too, and his dictum that we should have nothing in our houses that we do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. I’m not sure he ever mentioned the third category that must exist for these treasures!
That’s a very interesting connection to the birch trees, I’d never have thought of that. I know they sometimes use birch for baseball bats, instead of ash or maple, but didn’t know what they used for drumsticks. And how the heck have I not heard of Ms. Kondo before? Had to look her up, and looks like she’s been featured on every cable, TV, radio, magazine, newspaper, etc. Yes, this place might be a visit to the Dark Side for her! 🙂 Despite the clutter and randomness, you’re definitely presented with some beautiful scenes – – I can’t imagine anyone would ever forget the sight of the big carousel, it’s stunning.
This is a great rainy weekend place – speaking of which, I hope Barry doesn’t give you too much trouble, and you have a great weekend.
Barry’s heading into Louisiana, and we’re not facing any more than some rain and occasional thunderstorms. That’s the good news; the better news is that after an uncharacteristic lack of attention to hurricane prep, I updated the insurance documents and bought my jar of peanut butter, so I’m ready for the next one. Now I can get back to important things, like work, and blogging.
Oh, good. I’m leaving Sunday to visit my parents for a few days, and hoping for a couple of days without rain, to hike in the woods a bit.
This place is beyond belief! Thank you for doing such a – well, crackerjack job of introducing us to it. Your photographs seem to reflect each and every twist and turn, of the building and of the consciousness that created it. 🙂 And as always, your text is engaging as all get-out.
Thank you Lynn, my text was even more over-stuffed than usual, but for once, it just seemed appropriate. I’d prefer immersing myself in an antique shop in Leiden, but this museum was a lot of fun.
This was a most excellent tour of a strange, very bizarro and unusual place. I think I would enjoy it (and enjoy being repelled) now that I’ve seen a little of it through your eyes/essaying, I have a good enough radar about these things. Toward the end of my reading reminded me of the creepiness of Jack Palance and Ripley’s Believe it or Not. Think you’ll fit in some Scrabble with your old mum when you’re home? My mother and niece have been visiting the past ten days (they go home Monday morning) and we’ve played lots, lots of Scrabble and I mostly keep finishing last place no matter how hard I try……
Hope you have a nice visit with your parents and get some good walks in.
Thank you, Jason, it’s going to be a pretty short visit, but an evening getting whipped at Scrabble and Pinochle, and winning at poker maybe, and maybe having some coffee cake is sounding pretty great! Definitely going to take some walks in the woods, rain or shine.
I went in the little Ripley’s “museum” in Niagara Falls once, and actually it was pretty fun, I didn’t know Jack Palance hosted their show. He was from a little coal town in between two of my grandparents’ hometowns, and I think he had a summer house around there, my great-uncle used to mention seeing him at gatherings & events near Wilkes-Barre, etc. I only knew him from City Slickers, but saw him in a ’70’s made-for-TV Dracula movie, which was pretty good, and he was excellent.
Looks like you’re getting acquainted to the place/area and really getting to love it.
Thank you, Pit, yes I like Milwaukee a lot. I haven’t had much time off to explore Wisconsin, but what I’ve seen has been nice
Some time I will make it up to “cheese country”, I’m sure.
Please let me know if you come this way! 🙂 I am not a bicyclist, but there are quite a few nice cycling paths in the area.
I sure will. Wisconsin is still on our list to do at least 10 miles on the bicycle in. It will not be too soon, though, as next year there might be 2 foreign trips [Ireland and Germany]. But maybe we can do another “RailTrailsRoadTrip”, too.
That sure is quite an amazing place. Can’t even imagine collected all that stuff. Must have been really fun to explore.
Hi Otto – yes, it’s more of an elaborate “roadside attraction” than a museum, but anyone visiting Madison, or traveling between Chicago – Minneapolis should definitely take a short detour to experience this place. I hope they continue to accumulate and add on more areas.
Wow. Just looking at the pictures is sort of overwhelming, I can imagine what it’d be like in person. Kind of a museum of weird and kitschy, curated by hoarders on acid.
I think I’d like it.
We were even in that general area a few years back, heading to a wide spot in the road 20 miles east of La Crosse, coming from Chicago. No time to stop, but maybe it would have been apt. The flight to Chicago was a red-eye, and we were only half awake on the drive…
What an amazing gallery of photos! Many thanks for sharing as well as your descriptions that make me almost feel like I was there 🙂
Thank you, da-AL, so glad you got a kick out of it. 🙂
What a smorgasbord of eccentric objects, Robert. Such fun to see what caught your eye. Also, I am a avid FLW fan and have visited Taliesin and many of his homes. Thanks for taking me on this wild ride! 🙂
Thanks, Jane, it is a wild place.
I’ve been to Fallingwater, Darwin Martin houses in Buffalo, and visited (outside only) some of the examples in Milwaukee, and now I’d really like to see Taliesin West, and the ones around Chicago. It’s always interesting.
You’ve seen a lot, Robert. We used to do Wright in May in Oak Park- what a treat. Did you see that a number of FLW buildings were designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites recently? Thank goodness.
A short way through your post I thought, “This reminds me of a computer game I used to play, now what was it called…” and then a bit later you said it: “Myst”. What an astonishing place… I had a quick look on Google Streetview to see if there were any 360s, and there are just a few, but I think your post gives a much better experience of it than that… and I can imagine that being immersed in it must be even better (and weirder, by the sound of it!) I must remember to give a link to your post to my sister who adores places like this. Not that she’s likely to get to it being in the UK, but then… you never know!
Hi Val – if anyone happens to be traveling to Madison, or from Chicago to Minneapolis, it’s definitely worth a tiny detour!