top of page

Top 20 Most Bizarre Buildings in the US

Architecture has been integral to life since mankind started building structures for warmth and security.


Architectural designs evolve and change with every new generation, bringing forth many fascinating, amazingly incredible, and sometimes bizarre structures. As a result, each country has at least one marvelous piece of architecture. America isn’t an exception. The vast North American country has a unique collection of bizarre buildings that leave visitors in awe.


Some of these buildings are modern and tech-inspired, while others are ancient and filled with rich American history spanning centuries. Seeing these buildings through the eyes of a solo traveler is indeed a unuqie experience.


America’s Most Bizarre Architecture


In this article, GVD company, an American remodeling and construction firm, takes you on an intriguing journey of architectural exploration. GVD prides itself on providing superior craftsmanship and creating fascinating architectural wonders across the United States.


The company, undoubtedly, knows where America’s most unconventional and visually stunning buildings are. Join us as we sample the top 20 most bizarre architecture in the US.


The Walt Disney Concert Hall

The Walt Disney Concert Hall




You will find his spectacular, modern architecture in LA, California. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is arguably the most futuristic and mind-blowing creation of world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. It’s designed like a sailboat on the exterior, while the interior is designed to be traditional yet functional.


The elegance and unique style that this building embodies make its estimated cost of $274 million seem like a steal. 




This library is exceptional because its front facet is shaped and painted like a pile of giant literature books. The facade gives you the impression of more than 20 books bound together. The Kansas City Public Library in Kansas City, Missouri, is truly an essential feature of Kansas City’s skyline.




This is the second library on our list- goes to show how rich libraries can be not only in terms of books but also architectural history. This charming masterpiece is at the heart of the University of California’s San Diego campus.


The UCSD Geisel Library’s exterior design looks like a mammoth maze. Its interior is home to more than 7 million books.


The UCSD Geisel Library

The UCSD Geisel Library




Yet another library in our collection. Seattle Central Library is a public library designed to hold over 1.5 million books.


What makes its architectural design unique and striking is its floating platforms that, from a distance, appear to be fastened together perfectly by a large steel net. At the center of the building is a sturdy glass skin. Utter fascination!




The Haines Shoe House was designed and built by Mahlon Haines in the late 1940s as a marketing tool for a local shoe business.


The shape of this impeccable creation resembles a giant work boot. It’s impressive how this house has remained sturdy and functional for over 70 years. It has a stucco exterior, and the interior frame is wood. The Shoe House is in perfect condition, up to date, and is available for rent as a BnB.




We have only featured the WonderWorks Museum in Pigeon Forge on our list. However, we must mention that 5 other WonderWorks entertainment centers are scattered around the US. Each one of these centers has an unreal, bizarre building structure. They all appear to be upside down. Brain-wrecking spectacles!


The Wonderworks (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee)

The Wonderworks (Pigeon Forge)




This building was initially called The Experience Music Project. The idea was to celebrate Jimi Hendrix- a legendary rock artist and a local Seattle hero.


It was another creation of Frank Gehry- he designed it in 2000, 3 years before he designed the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA.  The Museum of Pop Culture is an actual work of art. The insane angles, changing color patterns, and curves are out of this world!


The exterior is made of thousands of expertly-cut stainless steel and aluminum shingles. No shingle resembles another. Each shingle reflects light in its unique way, which is an accurate display of the dynamic energy and unique creativity of the ever-evolving pop culture. A fluid, moving masterpiece!




South Dakota has two of these “corn” palaces; one is in Gregory, South Dakota, and another one is in Plankinton, South Dakota. These outlandish pieces of architecture embody America's Midwest's rich agricultural culture and history. They were built in the early 1800s with other 30+ “corn palaces” spread across South Dakota, Iowa, and the Midwest. 


The Mitchell Corn Palace is the only corn palace standing strong after more than 2 centuries. Its shape and color represent 13 varieties of the world's healthiest corn. You can book the house for any party, whether weddings, graduations, or banquets.




This 2-story building is simple yet bizarre- it’s a giant pestle and a mortar. The Bondurant’s Pharmacy was a brainchild of Joe Bondurant in the mid-1970s. You’d confuse the mortar for a KFC chicken bucket from a distance. It’s weird, to say the least. 




This research facility at the heart of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is yet another brainchild of the award-winning architect Frank Gehry. The Ray and Maria Stata Center looks like a typical cartoon character. It's a pleasant oddity.



No. This one is not a religious establishment. It’s a comically-designed piece of architecture by architect Jim Bishop. The architect’s original idea was to build a cabin, but he built a castle with multiple floors. The facade, although comical, is an aesthetic delight!




We cannot leave Colorado without mentioning this iconic chapel north of Colorado Springs. The building is made of granite shards, and the towers are 46 meters high. The United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel is a tubular steel frame brought to life by 100 identical tetrahedrons and an aluminum enclosure. It’s one of the most noticeable features in Colorado’s skyline.


The United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel (Colorado) 

The United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel




Baltimore may not boast many architectural delights, so this visionary art museum stands out. The American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) has an eye-catching mosaic exterior, complemented by a showcase of unusual art pieces. This one is an art museum with a twist- it has remained loyal to the traditional doctrines of artistry. 




Everything is in the name. The building is designed like a giant basket. Locals love to think of it as the biggest basket in the world, and they’re not wrong. The basket building previously housed Longaberger Basket Company’s Ohio head office. The company sold the building in 2017.




Mammy's Cupboard is one of the world’s most famous roadside restaurants. As the name suggests, the restaurant’s shape resembles a mammy archetype. This unique sculpture embodies Natchez’s history, considering it was built in the early 1940s.




Moving on to Minneapolis, Minnesota, another one of Frank O. Gehry’s masterpieces stands. The Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum is in the heart of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.


The exterior design is curved to resemble an abstraction of a fish and a waterfall. It’s made of coiled, shiny metal on the northern side and brick on the south. This work of art should not be confused with the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art located at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.




With 82 floors, the Aqua Tower is the most prominent building on the Chicago skyline. Each floor is uniquely sculpted, making its outdoor terraces extra functional and spectacular.


It’s a reimagination of stunning terrestrial topography characterized by what looks like artificial hills and valleys. It’s also the tallest building in the city, standing at 876 feet.


The building has retail offices, luxurious condos, and Chicago’s finest hotel rooms. What makes the building divine, however, is its large green roofs and sweeping scenic views.


water tower chicago

The Aqua Tower (Chicago, Illinois)




The National Museum of the American Indian earns a spot in our list because of its distinctive curvilinear shape. The building’s unique architectural details and textures complement the US Capitol Building, giving Washington DC a classic artistic expression.




Alaska is defined by wide-open spaces and an abundance of outdoor experiences. It is also home to one of America's most pleasantly bizarre buildings, The Goose Creek Tower (or Dr. Seuss House). The towering architectural wonder is located in Talkeetna. It’s a 185-foot-high standalone tower with 17 floors. 




Last on our list is this spectacular structure in Albany, NY. The Egg is an acoustic entertainment center of two curved, slightly-inclined theaters. The “egg” sits on a 6-storied plaza. 


Final word


This list is filled with giant architectural marvels and some of the weirdest buildings in the US and the world. These are just the oddest ones out there. You can explore countless others on your own whenever you have the time. 


 

Jenny Kakoudakis

Jenny Kakoudakis likes to blog about interiors and lifestyle. She launched award-winning Seasons in Colour in 2014. When she is not chasing criminals out of the financial system (her day job), she focuses on mindfulness.


Read her ideas about filling your home with positivity here.

29 views

Comments


bottom of page