The Weirdest, Most Unusual Buildings in Every US State

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Posted: June 9, 2021
Category: USA Travel
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Are you traveling within the US soon? Looking to see something unusual? Here then, are the weirdest, most unusual buildings in every US state.

The Weirdest, Most Unusual Buildings in Every US State

Alabama

Rosenbaum House is an L-shaped home in Florence. This efficient, Usonian-style residence was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built as a “low-cost”, middle-class dwelling in 1939.  

Alaska

The unusual Dr. Seuss House is a 12-story home situated between Willow and Talkeetna. It was erected by Phil Weidner, an attorney in Anchorage. To date, it remains unfinished.

Arizona

The Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona features stained glass windows to inspire anyone. It also has a 90-foot cross and towers almost 200 feet high.

Arkansas

The historic Crescent Hotel is known as the country’s “Most Haunted Hotel.”  Just outside of Eureka Springs, it was built in 1886. Take a ghost tour.

California

The Winchester House is situated in San Jose. When wealthy rifle heiress Sarah Winchester was widowed in 1881, she continuously built onto the now-160-room house to ward off the ghosts of those killed by Winchesters.

Colorado

Jim Bishop has been building Bishop Castle in Rye for approximately 60 years. It is built of iron and stone and includes a gorgeous grand ballroom.

Connecticut

Gillette Castle in East Haddam is an unusual medieval-style fortress constructed in 1919. Designed by a playwright/actor, it features 24 rooms, tables on tracks, and built-in couches.

Delaware

The Grand Opera House has been a landmark in Wilmington for over 140 years. It opened in 1871 as the Masons’ Grand Lodge. Now it hosts over 80 shows annually.  

Florida

Located in Lake Wales, the neo-Gothic Singing Tower found at the Bok Tower Gardens is 250 feet tall. Make sure to catch one of the 60-bell carillon concerts too.

Georgia

Situated in Atlanta, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is a Hindu place of worship constructed of Indian pink sandstone, Italian marble, and Turkish limestone. All 34,000 pieces were hand-carved in India.

Hawaii

The Iolani Palace was constructed in Honolulu in 1882, It’s the sole royal home in the USA. It was the residence of the last Hawaiian royalty. Their reign ended in 1893.

Idaho

The unusual Dog Bark Park Inn in Cottonwood. Perfect for dog lovers, it’s managed by its creators, Frances Conklin and Dennis Sullivan, and has extra sleeping space above the muzzle.

Illinois

Chicago’s 82-story Aqua Tower is the tallest building in America. Built by architect Jeanne Gang, this sculptured apartment building features unusual terraces to foster neighborly interactions.

Indiana

The West Baden Springs Hotel is reportedly the official unofficial “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Its most popular feature is its stunning 200-foot-wide atrium.

Iowa

Found in Des Moines, the Iowa State Capitol Building was constructed in 1884. Its distinguished dome is made of stone and steel and is coated with 23-carat gold leafing.

Kansas

The Big Well is located in Greensburg. In 1888 it was hand-dug to provide the town with water. It is 109 feet deep and now serves as a museum.  

Kentucky

Located in Lexington, the Bondurant’s Pharmacy was designed to resemble a mortar and pestle. Opened in 1974 it now houses a liquor store and was reworked to look like a cocktail.

Louisiana

New Orleans’ Pontalba Buildings were completed in 1851. This pair of row houses on Jackson Square is an exquisite blend of American, Creole, French, and Greek Revival architectural styles.

Maine

In 1790 the federal government took over the construction and upkeep of Cape Elizabeth’s Portland Head Light. It was completed within the year. You can visit the museum there.

Maryland

The American Visionary Art Museum is located in Baltimore. The exterior mosaics were created by several juvenile delinquents. Inside you’ll find the work of self-taught artists.

Massachusetts

Designed by Frank Gehry, the Ray and Maria Stata Center was opened in 2004. Located at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it includes swerving walls, tilting columns, and sustainable design elements.

Michigan

Detroit’s 40-story Guardian Building is the most outstanding of all Rock City’s art deco buildings. It was built in 1929 and features a marble-lined lobby and mosaic ceilings.

Minnesota

See the popular Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum for free. Found at the University of Minnesota. It was designed by Frank Gehry and opened in 1993.

Mississippi

Oddly, the Longwood Mansion in Natchez is neither wooden nor long. Indeed, it’s “the largest octagon-shaped” residence in the nation. Construction on this six-story manse began in 1860 but forever halted at the start of the Civil War.

Missouri

St. Louis’ Gateway Arch is the tallest accessible building in the state and the tallest man-made monument in the entire Western Hemisphere. Enjoy the views from atop this 630-foot monument.

Montana

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See the rotunda of the Montana State Capitol Building located in Helena. Notice the four folks who contributed so much to Montana’s history: a cowboy, an explorer, a gold miner, and a Native American.

Nebraska

Lincoln’s International Quilt Study Center and Museum contains the largest quilt collection on the planet. It is both an interesting and impressive sight to see.  

Nevada

The sprawling Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas has an admittedly funky look to it. This is yet another architectural icon designed by architect Frank Gehry.

New Hampshire

The Y-shaped Mount Washington Hotel located in Bretton Woods has its own post office. Since opening its doors in 1902. In 1986 it was declared an official National Historic Landmark.

New Jersey

The Union Hotel in Flemington was constructed in 1878. In 1934 the 52-room hotel hosted the jurors of the Lindbergh baby murder trial and served as the command center for reporters covering it.

New Mexico

The Taos Pueblo in Taos was mainly built sometime between the years 1000 and 1450 A.D. Today, it is thought to be the country’s “oldest continuously inhabited community.”  

New York

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1943, the well-known Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum was specifically meant to be “unlike any other museum in the world.” It was designated an official NYC landmark in 1990.

North Carolina

Asheville’s 250-room Biltmore Mansion was constructed by George Vanderbilt in 1889. It was meant to be a country home. Tour this residence. Its gardens and the winery too.

North Dakota

Nestled in Bismarck, the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum tells a historic tale through an interesting assortment of distinct dinosaur fossils to state artifacts.

Ohio

Located in Newark, the basket-shaped Longaberger Basket Building, a.k.a. The “World’s Largest Basket”, was built to be the basket company’s headquarters. It was recently sold for $1.2 million.

Oklahoma

Frank Lloyd Wright designed one skyscraper in the state–Price Tower in Bartlesville. Meant to be an NYC apartment building, it was instead erected as an office building in Oklahoma in 1956. 

Oregon

The 46-room Pittock Mansion is located in Portland and features a truly eclectic combination of architectural styles. Built as the residence of newspaperman Henry Pittock in 1909. It’s now a museum.

Pennsylvania

Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1935 masterpiece was Fallingwater. It was thus named because it was partly constructed over an actual waterfall. This helped the home blend into its natural surroundings.

Rhode Island

The Breakers is situated in Newport. It was built in 1895 for the Vanderbilt family. Its ornate design was inspired by Italian palaces.

South Carolina

The Calhoun Mansion in Charleston was built in 1876. It has a 75-foot domed ceiling, 35 rooms, 23 fireplaces, and antiques. It’s open for tours.

South Dakota

The Corn Palace in Mitchell has exterior walls that are actually made of real corn. The decorative design is altered annually.

Tennessee

Situated in Bristol, the Grand Guitar was completed back in 1983. Once a music museum, it is a huge replica of a Martin Dreadnought guitar.

Texas

Regular readers already know this “store” was never open. The Prada Marfa isn’t a business. It is actually an artwork by the artistic duo Elmgreen & Dragset.

Utah

Salt Lake City’s Beehive House was erected in 1854. It was once the residence of none other than American religious leader Brigham Young.

Vermont

You will find the Dog Chapel in St. Johnsbury on the 150 acres known as Dog Mountain. This a place of grieving specifically for pet owners.

Virginia

Monticello in Charlottesville was constructed in 1772. It was once Thomas Jefferson’s home. It is a favorite tourist stop of those who visit the area.

Washington

Completed in 2004. The Seattle Public Library was made with more than 4,000 tons of steel and 165,000+ square feet of glass. 

West Virginia

The Greenbrier is a historic resort nestled in White Sulphur Springs. It opened in 1858 and once included a secret 112,000-square-foot underground bunker.

Wisconsin

The useful and unusual Burke Brise Soleil at the Milwaukee Art Museum is a 217-foot sunscreen at the museum that unfolds twice each day.

Wyoming

The popular Old Town Trail is on the way into famous Yellowstone National Park, in Cody. It is a well-known historic site that is highlighted by several different reconstructed structures from the frontier days. Each comes complete with authentic furnishings too.

 



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