3 Reasons to Visit House on the Rock, a Neil Gaiman-Approved Tourist Trap

It just made a major television appearance.

The British Author who wrote Coraline evidently knows a thing or two about small-town Wisconsin.

Neil Gaiman set much of American Gods – which has sold more than a million copies – at a roadside attraction located in Spring Green. The House on the Rock is one of the strangest tourist traps in the country. And it’s just made a major television appearance, in the second season of the Starz adaptation of American Gods.

Here’s why you should visit:

1) Legend has it that the architect Alex Jordan decided to build in Spring Green because Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin homestead was a few miles away. Jordan supposedly showed Wright his designs only to be turned away in disgust by the older architect, who purportedly said, “I wouldn’t hire you to design a cheese crate or a chicken coop.” This meeting probably never took place. But it’s interesting to imagine the two harboring grudges. 
2) Inside you’ll find the world’s largest carousel, which features 269 animals but not a single horse. And hundreds of topless mannequins hang above it.

3) Jordan hired some of Wisconsin’s best-known outsider artists to help decorate the house with fake treasures, from music machines to ivory carvings. He displayed many of these alongside authentic antiques.
[alert type=white ]THE HOUSE ON THE ROCK

5754 State Road 23 Spring Green

Tickets $15-30[/alert]

“April Culture Cosmos” appears in the April 2019 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

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Lindsey Anderson covers culture for Milwaukee Magazine. Before joining the MilMag team she worked as an editor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and wrote freelance articles for ArtSlant and Eater.