The House on the Rock and an entrepreneurial dream

Alex Jordan has inspired me.
Not just his amazing “House on the Rock” in Wisconsin, USA, but also the entrepreneurial spirit that started the project and found a way to fund it.

As a child Alex used to picnic at Deer Shelter Rock in Wisconsin. He loved the area and came back as a young man – but the farmer who owned the land wasn’t so keen. So Alex offered to rent the rock so that he could enjoy it without interruption.

His love of the land and the views from the rock eventually inspired him to purchase it and the surrounding 240 acres. He then set about building his crazy house – clinging precariously to the outcropping.

As word got out about this strange project people came to visit. Alex spotted the opportunity and started to charge them 50 cents each – they willingly paid, and Alex realised that this was the way to fund the development of the house. And for the rest of his life this is exactly what Alex did – constantly adding to the building work and finding new curiosities to fill the unusual rooms.

Personally, I am fed up with modern decor and the magnolia fad. Fed up with sensible and fed up with the need to explain why. Alex Jordan ignored all these modern mores. His house is a tribute to the beauty of just doing what you want for no other reason than you fancy doing it.

The House on the Rock is an elaborate labyrinth of rooms and extensions housing an eclectic mix of items, chosen for no other reason than Alex liked them.

There are music machines, Chinese ivory carvings, reproduction Tiffany lamps, doors carved from Indian Rosewood, china dolls, model aeroplanes, an entire early 1900’s street and an infinity room; all carefully built around Deer Shelter Rock towering over the Wisconsin plains.

The infinity room juts around 160 feet out from the side of the house over the gorge below, and with a large glass panel in the floor you can look down at the tree tops and deer below you.

Alex modeled his house on his fantasies and dreams. Everything from a marine world with a giant sea monster munching a ship to the world’s largest indoor carousel with mythical creatures, constantly spinning round under the sparkling fairy lights.

The House on the Rock is a great example of an entrepreneurial dream that came straight out of a young boy’s childhood fantasies. It serves to prove that no matter how crazy your idea – if there is a will, there certainly is a way.

Fact Box:
For more information about The House on the Rock see: http://www.thehouseontherock.com/HOTR_AttractionMain.htm
The nearest International Airport is Chicago. For flights to the USA see: http://www.britishairways.com/travel/home/public/en_gb?countrycode=GB&eId=101001

1 Comment on The House on the Rock and an entrepreneurial dream

  1. I am “visioning” my house as I type – what a wonderful inspiration. Thanks Chantal.

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