Heritage Ohio offering tours of Big Basket

NEWARK — An Ohio roadside attraction for nearly 20 years will be open to tours from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20.

Known as mimetic architecture, the design of the Longaberger Headquarters was inspired by founder Dave Longaberger, based on the design of their iconic “Medium Market Basket.”

Built in 1997, the seven story 180,000 square foot building is stucco over steel. The Longaberger building once housed 500 employees.

Designed by architectural firm NBBJ, guests will have the opportunity to see the first and second floors. Which include the 142-seat auditorium, cafeteria and a boardroom. The seven story glass atrium is the central attraction from where one can view the basket handles, each weighing 75 tons, with built in heating elements to protect the atrium from possible ice damage.

A nomination to the National Register of Historic Places is in the process of being prepared to recognize the significance of this remarkable architecture in rural Ohio.

Guides for the event will be volunteer former Longaberger employees recruited by former CEO Jim Klein, who is organizing a homecoming tailgate for employees to gather and reminisce.

Heritage Ohio, the statewide historic preservation non-profit will be selling tickets for $15 a piece on their website and eventbrite. The event will raise funds for “Save Ohio’s Treasures” a new program to provide investment dollars in historic rehabilitation for Ohio’s rural commercial downtown areas.

Three food trucks will be available: Barroluco Argentine Comfort Food, Poppy’s Roadside Diner, and Tortilla Street Food. The Zanesville band Barley Bros. will provide entertainment.

The Big Basket Tour is made possible by the generosity of building owner Steve Coon of Coon Restoration, a member of the Heritage Ohio Board of Trustees.

Heritage Ohio strives to help people save the places that matter, build community, and live better. Heritage Ohio is the leading statewide, non-profit preservation organization, dedicated to encouraging and assisting people and organizations to protect and preserve Ohio’s heritage and cultural resources. Heritage Ohio has been the designated coordinating agency by The National Main Street Center since 1997 and is the designated statewide Ohio preservation partner with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Learn more by visiting www.heritageohio.org.