The Breadbasket of Ohio


Aditya Rengaswamy, Weird Architecture

One of the main reasons I even came to CWRU was to move somewhere away from home and explore the USA a bit. I wanted a smaller collegiate environment than most state schools tend to offer. However, after coming here, I realized there is another reason I enjoy this campus – the architecture. Some buildings are ancient, while others are bizarre, like the Peter B. Lewis building. As a business student, I’ve been fortunate enough to explore quite a bit of the labyrinth that is PBL. But in all honestly, many around CWRU, even non-business majors, have already seen PBL. There are so many more gems that Ohio has in its midst that are worth exploring. One of my favorites is the breadbasket.

Take a trip down south to Newark. This town, located in central Ohio, is filled with oddities and fun buildings. One of the highlights is the Longaberger headquarters, a building that literally looks like a basket. The structure is made out of stucco placed on a steel frame. In 1998, The Longaberger Home Office received a Build Ohio Award for its synthetic plaster system. Tourists have gone in droves to see it for themselves.

Inside of the building, one can find a gorgeous staircase, a piano, and a plethora of office spaces. They packed quite a bit into their basket. The company itself is retailer of baskets, pottery, and other amenities one might find lying in and around the house. Almost everything they produce is handmade, and they take pride in the fact that they are a family business, which was established in 1973. I found my experiences at their corporate headquarters extremely entertaining.

This building represents all that is weird and fun in life. So many of the office spaces in the businesses I’ve seen can get serious very fast. Some large corporate environments tend to have a structured feel. However, when I toured this building, I had fun from the get-go, joking around with the tour guide, waving to employees, getting chances to sneak a peek into office spaces that were well organized to ones that were a mess. Almost everyone was smiling and having fun. One of the employees even joked, “It’s hard to take life too seriously when you work inside a basket!” I hate taking life too seriously, and I never want to forget the pure joy that each moment can provide. 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 abound. If they appear, grasp them.