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Can This Ohio Town Save Its Giant Basket Building?

The future of an American roadside attraction is up in the air now that the Longaberger company is vacating the oversized replica of its most popular product.
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Derek Jensen/Wikimedia Commons

Newark, Ohio, about 40 miles east of Columbus, has produced some fine additions to American culture: The first woman to fly solo around the world, one of Las Vegas’s most famous entertainers, the voice of Brak, the list goes on. But it also has a fine piece of postmodern American architecture with a future that’s now uncertain.

CVSL, Longaberger’s parent company, announced late last month that it will move out of the giant basket it has called home since December 1997, consolidating its workers into Longaberger’s more modest campus about 20 miles away in Frazeysburg. Shaped like the Longaberger “medium market” basket (one of its bestsellers), the seven-story building was seen to completion by company founder Dave Longaberger just before his death in 1999. The giant basket belongs on any list of “world’s largest” attractions to stop for on a U.S. road trip.