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THE HOUSE ON THE ROCK: Designed and built by Alex Jordan of Madison, WI, the House is an architectural marvel perched on a 60-foot chimney of rock. Begun in the early 1940's, it overlooks the breathtaking panorama of Wyoming Valley. The 14-room House, sculpted atop Deer Shelter Rock, is the original structure of what is now an extraordinary complex of rooms, streets, buildings and gardens covering over 200 acres. A 375-foot ramp through treetops takes visitors to the entrance of the House where a bell gallery, waterfalls, massive fireplaces and walls of rock can been seen. Furnishings include Oriental art, stained glass lamps, bronze statuary and a three-story bookcase filled with rare books. The 14th room was added in 1985 and proves to be the most spectacular, the INFINITY ROOM. This unique room with walls of glass, projects out over the Wyoming Valley 218 feet. A glass cocktail table provides visitors with a breathtaking view of the forest floor 156 feet below. With 3,264 windows, there's no doubt about it, there truly is no other room like it in the world.
Alex Jordan Historical Building: ALL NEW IN 2006! Learn about the visionary man behind this architectural marvel.
GATE HOUSE: This room serves as a lobby or foyer and has the same innovative, contemporary design as the House built atop the rock.
MILL HOUSE: The Mill House displays antique guns, dolls, mechanical banks, suits of armor, music machines, paperweights and an enormous fireplace.
STREETS OF YESTERDAY: It recreates the 19th century with a sheriff's office, carriage house, wood-carver's shop, Grandma's house and more. There is a whole street of shops and homes. The road is bricked and the lighting simulates old-time gas street lamps.
HERITAGE OF THE SEA BUILDING: The highlight of this building is a 200-foot sea creature engaged in a struggle involving an enormous octopus and whaling expedition. The sea creature is longer than the Statue of Liberty is tall. Over 200 museum-sized model ships are on display in the nautical building, along with an enormous collection of scrimshaw. Also featured is a TITANIC display.
TRANSPORTATION BUILDING: This building dedicated to transportation features various displays of different modes of transportation, including a tile car. It also features a unique "Rube Goldberg" machine, a display of Burma Shave signs and a view of the House from the outside.
MUSIC OF YESTERDAY: The greatest collection in the world of animated, automated music machines and gigantic pipe organs are found here. Antiques dating from the 1880's and dazzling orchestrions that were very popular in the 19th century Europe can be found. This includes the Blue Room, the world's only mechanically operated symphony orchestra, the 28-foot tall Franz Josef; the marvelous Mikado music machine and many other huge music rooms.
SPIRIT OF AVIATION: The House on the Rock unveils a collection of model airplane replicas with wing spans up to 12 feet that will propel you back to the 1940's. The exhibit also includes a control tower and nostalgic Smalltown USA and numerous newspaper accounts of major aviation milestones.
WORLD'S LARGEST CAROUSEL: Unveiled Easter weekend of 1981. This is the largest carousel in history with over 20,000 lights and 269 handcrafted carousel animals – not one a horse! It is 35 feet tall, 80 feet wide and weighs 35 tons. It is valued at nearly $4.5 million.
ORGAN ROOM: This building features three of the greatest theatre organ consoles ever built, one with 15 manuals and hundreds of steps. Exhibits include huge vats and pieces of electrical equipment of all shapes and sizes. Spiral staircases, 13 bridges and walkways and a 45-foot high perpetual motion clock can all be found here.
DOLL HOUSE BUILDING: There are more than 250 dollhouses in The House on the Rock collection – each an outstanding example of meticulous craftsmanship. Most are constructed on a precision scale of one inch equaling one foot. Even the furnishings are perfect in every detail right down to the interior lighting.
CIRCUS BUILDING: Everybody loves a circus and The House on the Rock is no exception. Over one million pieces comprise the collection of miniature circuses – 1/8 inch, ¼ inch, ½ inch and one full inch to the foot. Even the pyramid of life-sized elephants is overwhelmed by the colossal circus wagon, with its 40-piece animated band. The Circus Band plays in concert with an 80-piece orchestra. The 12-piece ensemble took 14 people three years to create and it encompasses 37 miles of wiring, 31 blowers and 2,300 pneumatic motors. The ensemble is complemented by 50 additional life-size mannequins accented in exotic costumes. The room also features the most complete collection of Baranger Motions, which were featured in store windows of many fine jewelry stores during the 20's, 30's, 40's and even 50's.
WEAPONS EXHIBIT: This features more beautifully cased pistols from the Alex Jordan Collection. Some of the more interesting include a derringer concealed in a lady's wooden leg.
ORIENTAL ROOM: A distinct Oriental flavor is present throughout the entire complex of The House on the Rock, but even more so in this room which is highlighted by exquisitely carved ivories. Many consider this to be one of the finest privately owned collections anywhere. Also featured are hand-carved cork exhibits, enormous porcelain vases numerous other examples of the fine arts of the Orient.
ARMOR COLLECTION: All the armor featured in this elaborate collection was made for The House on the Rock. Shades of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table are evident in a Gothic armor display. Samurai armor reminiscent of the days of Shogun are also exhibited. Jordan's recreation of Hannibal crossing the Alps seems to be the most popular diorama.
CROWN JEWEL COLLECTION: Featured are replicas of the Tower of London's Crown Jewels. The collection also includes the royal tiara collection, various crowns of nobility, famous jewels of the world and swords of state.
CANNON BUILDING: This displays a cannon of colossal proportions, along with a three-level and a two-level fantasy doll merry-go-round with hundreds of bisque dolls, many riding ponies. It has unusual sculptures such as the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse," as well as the World's Largest Castle.
REFRESHMENTS: The Garden Café and Inspiration Point offer many choices such as hamburgers, hot-dogs, salads and soups. In addition, a wide assortment of refreshments are available throughout the tour, including outstanding Pizza at Rozino's.
GIFT SHOPS: A wide assortment of exclusive House on the Rock souvenirs and mementos are available at both the main gift shop and Uniquely Ours.
VILLAGE SHOPS: A village of individual specialty shops constructed outdoors in a garden setting amid blooming flowers and shaded walkways. Clothing, jewelry, and figurines are just a few of the treasures for sale. Also featured are delicious homemade candies.
THE DISPLAY GARDENS: The House on the Rock gardens began in 1983. They have grown to become one of the largest display gardens in Wisconsin. The displays feature 285 different types of plants, over half of which are virtually unknown in the Midwestern states. The featured flower of The House on the Rock garden in Alex Jordan's favorite flower, the Amaryllis.