WEIRD WEDNESDAY: Corporate Image Taken To Extremes

In October 1995, construction began on The Longaberger Company’s seven-story home office, a replica of the company’s Medium Market Basket and the dream of company founder Dave Longaberger. Construction was completed in December 1997. Founded in 1973, The Longaberger Company makes handcrafted baskets and offers other quality home and lifestyle products, including pottery, wrought iron, and fabric accessories.

Situated on a park-like setting off St. Rt. 16 in Newark, OH (35 miles east of Columbus), the building is visited by thousands each year, including Longaberger home consultants, customers, and many others desiring a closer look at this one-of-a-kind structure.

Since its construction, the Longaberger Home Office has been the subject of numerous print and electronic media stories reaching audiences around the world. Most recently, “Dreaming Big: Building Outside the Box” began airing on The Travel Channel in July 2005; this show (featuring architectural wonders from across the U.S.) includes a segment on the Longaberger Home Office.

Offices are situated around a seven-story, 30,000 sq. ft. atrium filled with natural daylight from the skylight overhead; there are 84 windows on the building’s exterior walls. Two basket handles are attached to the top of the building with copper and wooden rivets replicating those on a Longaberger Basket®; the handles, which weigh about 150 tons, are heated to prevent ice from forming. Longaberger gold-leaf-painted tags (each 25’x7’x3″ and 725 pounds) are attached to both sides of the building.

Longaberger employees designed the exterior and interior of the building, managed the entire project, and constructed more than 50% of the building. NBBJ and Korda Nemeth Engineering administered the design process. Landscape design and installation was coordinated by Bassatt and Associates with an exclusive design that is fully irrigated and includes plant varieties native to Ohio.

• 1997 Build Ohio Award for new construction, 1998 Build Ohio Award for synthetic plaster system
• National Finalist by American Consulting Engineers Council
• 2002 Grand Award in the industrial or office park category by the Professional Grounds Management Society
• 2002 Grand Award in the commercial project category, Grand Award in the seasonal color category by the Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association.

Building specs:
Property size: 25 acres
Building footage: 180,000 sq. ft.
Building weight: 8,000-9,000 tons
Building capacity: Approx. 500 employees
Cost of project: $30 million
Construction timeline: 2 years, 3 months
Construction type: Steel frame
Exterior finish: Clay stucco
Interior finishes Limestone and marble floors in lobby, cherry woodwork throughout building harvested from Longaberger Golf Club property and milled, sawed, and shaped by Longaberger employees.
Dimensions: 92′ long, 126′ wide at grade, widening to 208′ x 142′ at the roof.

[Update: In May 2018, Longaberger went out of business; the building had been sold in 2016 after a company move. For October 2019 news on the building, read this story from Facility Executive.]