Posts Tagged ‘outdoor art’

Whispering Giants and the Grave of Frankenstein

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Rotaynah - 51st Whispering Giant

Rotaynah – 51st Whispering Giant

If you’re into huge sculptures carved out of wood or interesting tombstones, then you need to check out these places!  Peter Wolf Toth has been carving sculptures out of logs since the early 70s and has created what he calls the Trail of Whispering Giants.  They are carved by hammer and chisel and are made to look like the natives who live in that area.  So far, he has created 74 different Whispering Giants, some of which are 40 feet tall!  There is at least one in every single state of the United States and even a couple in Canada and one in Hungary; the country he was born in.

And you don’t have to travel too far from a couple of these giants to come across a graveyard which includes an interesting family tombstone.  This family may not have been that popular, but they bore a name that a very popular, yet fictional, doctor also shared… and that name is Frankenstein!  I’m not sure about the history of the family, but their family tombstone has become quite a unique “roadside attraction”, if you dare call it that.  And once you’re done searching for interesting family names, you can always head to the William McKinley National Memorial, which was constructed in remembrance of our 25th president.

It’s sometimes hard to come with things to do outside in the winter months, but if you’re just a little bit more observant you’ll come across creative and interesting things like these.  And not even the snow and wind I ran into could ruin a trip to see things like this, which is the beauty behind a little planning.  I saw the 51st and the 6th Whispering Giant on my trip, and it’s a lot different to see these things in person.  The 51st giant is so huge and detailed, and the 6th, although a bit under the weather, adds a little something special to the rest stop, where it is located.  And it was even interesting to see the creative designs and family names in the cemetery, and then to have the giant memorial right next door.

But, I don’t expect you to get too much from this text, or even the pictures, so feel free to explore these locations through the video below:


If you’re curious how to get to any of these locations, then I’ve got your back!  The 51st Whispering Giant is in a field right in front of the Fairlawn Elementary School in Akron, Ohio and if you CLICK HERE you can get directions right to the exact spot.  You can park in the preschool parking lot and walk right over to it.

If you’re interested in seeing the Frankenstein family tombstone, then you’ll want to go to section Z in the Westlawn Cemetery in Canton, Ohio, but you can CLICK HERE for directions to where you need to go.  It’s at the far end of the cemetery and, when you face the tombstone, the Mercy Medical Center is right behind it.  In fact, as you drive around the cemetery, you’ll notice how close you are to the McKinley Memorial too.

And if you want to check out the 6th Whispering Giant as well, then it’s right off of Interstate 80, heading East, in Sharon, Pennsylvania.  It’s right outside of the building at a rest stop, but CLICK HERE to get directions to exactly where you want to go.  You’ll probably need to rest a bit after a long road trip like this anyway!


The 51st Whispering Giant is right along a busy road, so be careful if you bring kids with you.  And the Westlawn Cemetery is only open during daylight hours, like most cemeteries, so be sure to get there before it’s too late, because there’s a fence around the whole area.  Oh, and don’t let Google Maps lead you the wrong way down the one way street, right in front of the cemetery.  Lawn Avenue NW is a one way street which starts at the entrance of the cemetery and heads toward 4th Street NW, so if you’re coming off of 4th Street NW then take Lincoln Avenue NW to 7th Street NW and you’ll see the entrance.


If that wasn’t enough, then here’s a handy site that shows you pictures, descriptions and locations of the Whispering Giants:

And here are more pictures:


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PennDOT Road Sign Art

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Read Between the Signs (PennDOT Road Sign Art)

Read Between the Signs (PennDOT Road Sign Art)

If you’re into art, the outdoors and you love when people beautify a somewhat ugly location then you need to check out “Read Between the Signs”!  This is a project that was carried out by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Arts & Entertainment Initiative from Allegheny College’s Center for Economic and Environmental Development (CEED).  They are an organization who likes to create art to not only bring awareness to environmental problems but also to change how people react to their environment.

And if these recycled road signs, cut into different designs and composed into a long mural, weren’t there then all you’d see is a bunch of trucks and equipment behind PennDOT’s fence.  So, do you think the art changes how you react to that location a bit?  I think so too!  And there are even giant flowers, made out of road signs, in front of their parking lot, from a different project called Signs & Flowers.  These things are anywhere between 10 feet and 12 feet tall and they get really creative with their designs; my favorite is the stop sign flower, with the one way petals.

And if you were to randomly drive by this mural, you’d be pretty amazed at the details and size of it… I mean, it is 1,200 feet long and 9 feet tall!  And it’s composed of all different images that relate to the area, but enough out of me for now.  You can check out my trip here:


If you’re curious about checking out this place yourself, then all you have to do is head to Meadville, Pennsylvania and hop on Route 322.  The mural is right beside Route 322 and you can park in PennDOT’s parking lot (near the giant flowers) or across the street if you like.  But, to make things easier on you, all you have to do is CLICK HERE and you’ll see a map of exactly where you can park, and you can get directions right to this location.


There is plenty of room to look at and enjoy the long mural, on foot, up until you get close to the end of the fence, farthest from the building.  There’s a wide patch of grass that you can walk on, in between the road and the fence, but if you have kids you’ll want to keep an eye on them.  You can still walk to the other end of the fence, it’s just that there’s a drainage ditch in front of the fence which really minimizes the area of grass you can walk on.


If that wasn’t enough for you, then you can check out their official site here:

And here are more pictures:


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