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 $7.5 million (£5.63 million), the (sadly stucco-based) former headquarters of struggling basketmaker Longaberger is now available for a mere $5 million (£3.76 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 colorful, 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.” [Bloomberg]