According to some, the future of architecture is wood, but in Newark, Ohio, the future has already arrived — in the form of big, dumb picnic basket that’s also an office building no one will buy.
First put on the market 18 months ago for $US7.5 million ($9.7 million), the (sadly stucco-based) former headquarters of struggling basketmaker Longaberger is now available for a mere $US5 million ($6.5 million), Bloomberg reports. Despite the steal of a price, however, listing agent Michael Guagenti says he’s had trouble selling the building, for some reason.
“It’s a very challenging building,” Guagenti told the site. “We have had a couple [offers] but nothing that materialised.”
According to The Columbus Dispatch, the building’s unique design came about 20 years ago, well, about how you’d expect, really:
After months of wrangling with architects who had created designs that were merely suggestive of a basket, the colourful, quotable [founder Dave] Longaberger stormed out of a meeting, grabbed one of the company’s medium-sized baskets, came back in, put it on the conference room table and said, “Make it look exactly like that,” said Brenton Baker, director of communications and special initiatives and a longtime employee.
So they did.
Even with its highly specialised exterior, Guagenti thinks the building has a lot of potential, noting, “There’s nothing baskety inside.”
“[Y]ou could take the handles off,” Guagenti told Bloomberg. “I’m sure a good architect could come up with some paint scheme to make it look not like a basket.”