The Most Unusual Buildings in Each State You Should Visit on Your Next Roadtrip

Shannon Quinn - August 26, 2022
Share
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

8. Texas: Prada Marfa

Prada Marfa is a permanent sculptural art installation by artists Elmgreen and Dragset, located along U.S. Route 90 in Jeff Davis County, Texas, United States, 1.4 miles (2.3 km) northwest of Valentine, and about 26 miles (42 km) northwest of Marfa (its namesake city). The installation is in the form of a Prada storefront and it was inaugurated on October 1, 2005. The artists described the work as a “pop architectural land art project.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Realized with the assistance of American architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello the construction cost $120,000. The original intent was that the building would not be repaired, but would rather gradually degrade into its surroundings. This plan was revised after vandals graffitied the exterior and stole its contents, the night the sculpture was completed. (via Wikipedia)

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

7. Utah: Beehive House

The Beehive House was constructed in 1854, two years before the neighboring Lion House was built (also a residence of Young’s). Both homes are one block east of the Salt Lake Temple and Temple Square on South Temple street in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Credit: Church of Jesus Christ

Young was a polygamist, and the Beehive House was designed to accommodate his large family. The Beehive House also became his official residence as governor of Utah Territory and president of the LDS Church. Upon its completion, Young briefly shared the Beehive House with his senior wife Mary Ann Angell. Young’s first polygamous wife, Lucy Ann Decker Young, possibly due to her seniority, became hostess of the Beehive House and lived there with her nine children. (via Church of Jesus Christ)

Credit: Atlas Obscura

6. Vermont: Dog Chapel

In 2000, the Dog Chapel was introduced to the world as a symbol of peace, love, and remembrance. The Chapel has become a unique and moving physical embodiment of the unending love people have to give.

Credit: Atlas Obscura

Several times a year, the Stephen Huneck Gallery on Dog Mountain hosts unforgettable Dog Parties. Hundreds of people with hundreds of dogs attend these festivities. Dogs are free to play, swim, greet one another, and of course sit by the food tables and ask for food (which we provide in abundance with food trucks for the dogs and their people). Everyone has a ball! (via Dog Chapel)

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

5. Virginia: Monticello

Monticello was the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson, who began designing at age 26. Located just outside Charlottesville, Virginia, in the Piedmont region, the plantation was originally 5,000 acres, with Jefferson using the labor of enslaved African people for extensive cultivation of tobacco and mixed crops, later shifting from tobacco cultivation to wheat in response to changing markets. The current nickel, a United States coin, features a depiction of Monticello on its reverse side.

Many people recognize Monticello because it is on the back of the nickle. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Jefferson designed the main house using neoclassical design principles. Situated on the summit of an 850 ft -high peak in the Southwest Mountains south of the Rivanna Gap, the name Monticello derives from Italian meaning “little mountain”. Cabins for enslaved Africans who worked in the fields were farther from the mansion. (via Monticello)

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

4. Washington: The Seattle Public Library

The Seattle Public Library (SPL) is the public library system serving the city of Seattle, Washington. Seattle Public Library also founded the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL), which it administered until July 2008.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

All but one of Seattle’s early purpose-built libraries were Carnegie libraries. However, some have undergone significant alterations. Ballard’s former Carnegie library has since housed a number of restaurants and antique stores among other enterprises, while others such as the Fremont and Green Lake branches have been modernized and remain in use as libraries. (vis SPL)

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

3. West Virginia: The Greenbrier

The Greenbrier is a luxury resort located in the Allegheny Mountains, West Virginia, in the United States. Since 1778, visitors have traveled to this part of the state to “take the waters” of the area. There are more than 55 indoor and outdoor activities and sports, and 36 retail shops. Greenbrier was built in 1913 by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Governor of West Virginia Jim Justice subsequently bought the property and promised to return the hotel to its former status as a five-star resort. A total of 26 presidents have stayed at the hotel. Greenbrier is also the site of a massive underground bunker that was meant to serve as an emergency shelter for the United States Congress during the Cold War called “Project Greek Island.” (via Wikipedia)

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

2. Wisconsin: Burke Brise Soleil at the Milwaukee Art Museum

The Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) is an art museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Its collection contains nearly 25,000 works of art. Alexander Mitchell donated all of his collection to constructing Milwaukee’s first permanent art gallery in the city’s history. In 1888, the Milwaukee Art Association was created by a group of German panorama artists and local businessmen.  

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

In 1957 they moved into the newly built Eero Saarinen-designed Milwaukee County War Memorial. Aside from its galleries, the museum includes a cafe with views of Lake Michigan and a gift shop. (via MAM)

Credit: Cody Yellowstone

1. Wyoming: Old Town Trail

Looking for Wild West thrills? There’s a rodeo, a bizarre gun museum, and a store topped by a huge rifle. But the town’s biggest concentration of frontier charm isn’t on its main street. It’s on the fabricated main street of Old Trail Town, a history attraction on the western edge of Cody. Behind is a veterinary clinic, visible as a low, brown assemblage of buildings out on the rangeland.

Credit: Flickr

In the 1960s, Bob W. Edgar was an archeologist working for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody. He was also a historian, a marksman and trick shooter, a trapper, and an artist. Edgar loved historic buildings that told the story of the old west. He noticed they had a tendency to disappear. He started to acquire and preserve a few. “Edgar opened Old Trail Town in 1967 with five buildings.  It also happened to be where Edgar lived, in a leased cabin near the highway to Yellowstone National Park. (via Old Town Trail)

Advertisement