Newark Ohio
Wikimedia/ Derek Jensen

Visit the World's Largest Basket Building in Newark, Ohio

The city of Newark, Ohio, might not be the first place you'd expect to see the World's Largest Basket Building. But you read that right, the county seat of Licking County is a giant basket Mecca. This central Ohio town has a building that is designed to look like a giant picnic basket. Located east of Columbus (home of OSU) in Licking County (named based on its location at the fork of the Licking River), Newark has a lot to offer.

While the main campus of THE Ohio State University (go Buckeyes!) is in Columbus, there's a satellite Newark campus, so between that and Central Ohio Technical College (go COTC!), you'll most likely see plenty of students studying at the Licking County Library. Downtown Newark has some charming historic buildings — and no big city commute — like the Midland Theatre, which dates back to the 1920s. The Dawes Arboretum has 12 beautiful miles of hiking trails and 2,000 acres of gardens. But really, it can't get more impressive than the largest apple basket in the world. 

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That's right, not just the United States. The world. This is one big basket, seven stories high. What has long been known as the  "Longaberger Basket Building," was originally the headquarters for the Longaberger Basket Company, a once-thriving Ohio company. The unique picnic basket building was built in 1997, for the hefty sum of $30 million. It was actually a replica of the company's "Medium MarketBasket," 160 times the size of the original. The wooden handles on top each way 75 tons and took over a year to build.

The building closed down in 2016, and people wondered if it was doomed. No one really knew what to do with a giant basket building. Retirement community? Would Longaberger decide to come back? But after a couple of buyers saved this struggling piece of real estate from foreclosure, the basket building is going to become Newark's newest luxury hotel. Move over Doubletree, some competition is in the works! Everyone add this to your post COVID-19 travel bucket list. Once it's finished, there will be nothing else like it.

"The handles, that's what makes this building special and unique," new co-owner Steve Coon told the Newark Advocate. "This will stay a basket. It's going to be a basket forever. It's got the draw. This is a destination."

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