Many Longaberger employees loved working in the goofy building. “It’s hard to take life too seriously when you work inside a basket!,” said an employee to the Observer’s Aditya Rengaswamy. “As a society, we should do more things that are purely silly and fun. There will always be work to be done, but fun opportunities aren’t always around.”

Longaberger occupied their custom headquarters for less than 20 years. With the taste for 19th c-style wood baskets waning, it suffered a series of financial setbacks leading to its acquisition by JRJR Networks (formerly Computer Vision Systems Laboratories Corp) in 2013. Longaberger vacated the building in July 2016 and the remaining employees scrounged for desks in its factory in a neighboring town.

“The Big Basket is like the St. Louis Arch,” remarked Longaberger’s former CEO Jim Klein last year when the foreclosure proceedings began. Wistfully, he said he hoped the roadside attraction will make it to the US National Register of Historic Places. The Columbus Dispatch reported last year that realtors considered taking off the handles and evening out the sculptural façade, realizing that it would be difficult to find a buyer to the unusual architecture. They pitched it to hotels, universities, retirement homes, and even as a very large and unusual private mansion.

Longaberger’s headquarters sparked a succession of basket-shaped structures in the Ohio. The company also built an enormous wicker picnic basket in Dresden, an extra large easter basket near Lake Eerie, and a 29-ft basket with monstrously large apples in Frazeysburg.

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