Heritage Ohio Conference & Current Project: Longaberger Basket
Updated: Jan 21, 2020
This week, a few members from our team are attending the Heritage Ohio Conference held in Newark, OH -- home of the iconic Longaberger Basket Building.
The "Big Basket Building" was first built in 1997 as an 185,000-square-foot office building for the Longaberger Company - who specialized in manufacturing maple wood baskets until they went out of business in 2017. This iconic building was designed to be an exact replica, equaling to be 160 times larger, of Longaberger's Medium Market Basket - their most popular style basket sold in the late 1990's.
Holding record as the World's Largest Basket, this building is 192-feet-long and 126-feet-wide at the bottom, while reaching 208-feet-long and 142-feet-wide at the roof line.
When Dave Longaberger, the founder of the company, decided that he wanted to run his successful basket business from inside an actual basket, his employees didn't think he was serious. He already had a house-sized basket in Dresden, OH that operated as the company's headquarters. Surely they thought that would be enough to satiate Dave's unique vision. Boy, were they wrong!
Unfortunately after the basket industry hit their peak, the company went under and the iconic building had sat vacant since 2016 until it was purchased by developer Steve Coon and Bobby George in 2017. Coon has reported that the seven-story internal atrium was in pretty decent shape despite being vacant for over a year.
To kick off the Heritage Ohio Conference, thousands of people showed up at the "Big Basket" on Sunday evening to tour the first two floors. Almost doubling the number of expected visitors, many began lining up at the doors around 11 am for their 1 pm tour. Former employees of the Longaberger Company happily came to volunteer and help with these tours, and were thrilled to be back in the famous building while being surrounded by such positive energy and excitement over the Big Basket.
It was officially announced on Monday evening at the Heritage Ohio Conference that Sandvick Architects will be working with the owners of the building to design plans for a luxury hotel, restaurant, and indoor pool. These plans will of course be sure to keep the unique basket shape and will honor the history of this iconic building.
The Sandvick Team