The United States has a lot of stunning architecture, from iconic homes designed by big-name architects like Frank Lloyd Wright to museums that impress with their design. But America also has some truly bizarre buildings. There are giant inhabitable dinosaurs in California, a dog-shaped bed and breakfast in Idaho and a huge duck on Long Island. Many of these buildings have been around for decades and are now popular roadside attractions.
The country’s most unique buildings are often mimetic architecture, also known as “novelty” or “programmatic” architecture. The mimetic style was popular in the early 1900s as a form of advertising; the building designs “mimic” the purpose or function of the structure or the product that the owner is trying to sell. Fruit stands were built in the shape of oranges, for example, and a footwear peddler would sell his shoes out of a giant boot.