USA: Five distinctive buildings

The Basket Building near Newark, Ohio. Photo / Stan Rohrer
The Basket Building near Newark, Ohio. Photo / Stan Rohrer

America has its fair share of quirky buildings - here are five of them.

1. The Basket Building, Newark, Ohio

Known as the Basket Building, this stucco over steel structure is seven storeys high. The founder of the Longaberger Company commissioned its design as a replica, 160 times the size of one of his signature products. It has become an icon but it's not only the exterior that is eye-catching.

Inside is a grand staircase, and the atrium rises the full height and is with topped with glass through which the giant handles of the basket structure can be seen. These are attached with replica rivets and heated so ice cannot form on them.

2. Dome of A Home, Gulf Breeze, Florida

After their home was damaged three times by hurricanes, Florida couple Valerie and Mark Sigler asked architect Jonathan Zimmerman to design a hurricane-proof home.

During Hurricane Ivan, in 2004, an NBC news crew reported on the storm from the safety of the concrete dome home as nearly 80 per cent of the other buildings in the area were either damaged or destroyed.

3. Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles

Walt Disney Hall is one of architect Frank Gehry's signature creations and was designed to be not only visually stunning but also to be one of the world's most acoustically sophisticated concert halls.

It is the home of the LA Philharmonic Orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

4. Mammy's Cupboard, Natchez, Mississippi

This landmark building in the shape of the "mammy archetype" refers to the black women who served as nurses to white children, especially in southern US states.

At first glance it seems politically incorrect but online references point to this perhaps being the whole point when it was designed in the 1940s by a female architect in rural Mississippi. A restaurant has been operating from beneath "Mammy's" brick skirts.

5. Morrow Royal Pavilion, Henderson, Nevada

A newer building is the eco-friendly Morrow Royal Pavilion, in Nevada, which has generated publicity for being built out of green architectural stone made from 100 per cent recycled glass aggregate using more than 500,000 beer bottles.

Further information: See DiscoverAmerica.com for more on visiting the United States.

- NZ Herald

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