By Maria Gissendanner
Stewart’s Folly is an interesting forgotten roadside attraction from the 1970s also known as the Round House of Logan, Ohio It is located on the outskirts of town as you are entering into Logan from the west along County Road 33A. I came across the mysterious structure this winter while doing a HAER documentation on a bridge in the area. I was driving along and almost found myself in the ditch as I craned my neck to double check what I just saw. On the side of the road in an overgrown lot was a round concrete building that appeared to have once been some sort of house that had been abandoned years ago.
I decided to turn around and go back and investigate this strange structure and sacrificed my body and car on the icy Ohio ground to get a closer look. Up close, it was clear that the structure was a poured concrete sphere sitting up on a rectangular pedestal and that it had been left to the elements years ago as all the windows and doors were missing and interior floors were collapsed rendering it impossible to enter along with the hazards of the ice. The concrete itself was still in good condition and I couldn’t help wondering what that forgotten structure was and why such a weird little building didn’t have anyone showing it any love. A quick Google search for “concrete round house in Logan, Ohio” got my answer; apparently I was not the first one to be stricken by this roadside oddity. I found out that locals refer to the building as “Stewart’s Folly” after the name of the man who designed and built the structure.
“Stewart’s Folly” was constructed as a prototype in the 1970s as a new durable type of housing to be constructed in hurricane and tornado-prone areas of the country. Its round design was supposed to make the structure wind resistant and its concrete construction and special windows also made the exterior of the building fire resistant. The concrete for the building was poured by using a special elevator system; the concrete was poured into the wooden shell mold from the top. It had 8-inch thick walls at the base and the rest of the building had 5-inch thick walls. The building had two floors with a basement, a porch and a garage. The building was never lived in. It was used for storage for several years and although meant as a prototype, no others were ever constructed although other companies have come out with similar designs.
For more information on “Stewart’s Folly” and to see pictures of the building while it was slightly more intact go to The Logan Roundhouse on Forgotten OH.