Alaska’s “Dr. Seuss House” is a real-life manifestation of the revered storyteller’s Whoville

Architecture West
(Courtesy Jovell Rennie)

(Courtesy Jovell Rennie)

A rambling, gravity-defying structure in Willow, Alaska has drawn a bevy of curious onlookers, who have dubbed it “the Dr. Seuss house.” The structure was built in the aftermath of a forest fire once the trees had regrown, obscuring the owner’s view of nearby Mount McKinley and the Denali National Park.

(Courtesy Jovell Rennie)

(Courtesy Jovell Rennie)

The previous owner spent a decade adding floors, but when he died abruptly, the tower was abandoned for 10 years. Renovations were then taken over a by a new occupant to add more stories, and the sky-piercing structure now comprises 12 floors that gradually taper in square footage.

The building bears a striking resemblance to the winding, often structurally implausible structures incorporating endless staircases in Theodor Giesel’s fictional town of Whoville, which is rumored to be based on the Massachusetts town of Easthampton, as well as treehouse designs.

The Giesel Library by William Pereira at San Diego State University, almost as much a spectacle as the so-called “Dr. Seuss house,” is named after the legendary storyteller and illustrator himself. The brutalist structure features gravity-defying concrete levels extending from a tapered base.

(Courtesy Jovell Rennie)

(Courtesy Jovell Rennie)

(Courtesy Jovell Rennie)

(Courtesy Jovell Rennie)

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