Raleigh, North Carolina: Gotno Farm

George Morris lived in a house made of steel and filled his property with homemade concrete sculptures.
Address:
3690 Buffaloe Rd, Raleigh, NC
Directions:
Northeast edge of the city. I-440 exit 11B. Drive north on US 1 for a little over a mile, then turn right onto Old Buffaloe Rd. Drive until it ends and turn right onto (new) Buffaloe Rd. On the south side of Buffaloe Rd at the intersection of Holford Drive.
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Blob. Gotno Farm - Mystery Blobs

The sign is still out front along with a weird blob of a sculpture. That's all you can see from the road. If you go up the driveway you'll see a No Trespassing sign. If you choose to ignore the sign, park around the corner, and sneak through the woods, you'll just see a lot of trees and, eventually, another blob-like statue. Disappointing, but still exciting.

[d, 08/01/2008]
Rabbit on Gotno Farm. Gotno Farm

When George Morris retired from the plaster business in 1967, he took up farming. That didn't work out, and he soon developed the urge to build things out of concrete. (Sound familiar?) He eventually surrounded his house with hundreds of giant mushrooms, animals, planters, and other free-form sculptures. He also built a picnic area next to a lake on his property and dubbed the results Gotno Farm. For a time, Morris's house became the center of the community, hosting picnics, Sunday school classes, and other family outings.

Some of the pieces, including the "Gotno Farm" sign out front, some mushrooms, and a 12-foot tall dog, have survived. Most have disappeared or been moved over the years. The sign and some of the other remaining pieces are visible from the road. I do NOT recommend trespassing to see the others -- the home is now rental property, and there are lots of "Keep Out" and "No Trespassing" signs.

Just to make things slightly more interesting, the house is one of those 1940s all-steel Lustron homes. It's in pretty good shape, too, and is one of the two-bedroom models, which I understand is less common than the three-bedroom version.

[Dean Jeffrey, 01/08/2005]

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