Photo Gallery

Duck House, Flanders, New York, USA

The Big Duck was built by a duck farmer Martin Maurer in 1931 on busy Main Street in the town of Riverhead on Long Island, New York. It's a ferrocement building in the shape of a duck applied over a wooden frame. It measures approximately 15 feet (5.5m) wide across the front, 30 feet (9.1m) long from breast to tail and 20 feet (6.1m) to the top of the head. The duck's eyes are made from Ford Model T tail lights. In 1937, Martin Maurer moved the building four miles (6 km) southeast to Flanders. The entire area, including Flanders and Riverhead, was the center of Long Island's well-known duck-farming industry. After Maurer's death, when the land was earmarked for development, giant duck preservationists and the Friends for Long Island's Heritage campaigned to save it. The owners donated the Big Duck to Suffolk County in 1987. In 1988 it moved from Flanders to Hampton Bays. In 2007 the Big Duck, as a national historic site, has been returned to its former nest, to the west of the Flanders Fire Department. The Duck shop which selling duck souvenirs to flocks of city weekend-trippers is known as a tourism attraction for the East end of Long Island. Two special events at the Big Duck take place every year: The Annual Big Duck Quack-Off (usually in June) and the Annual Holiday Lighting of the Big Duck (1st Wednesday after Thanksgiving). The Big Duck is a prime example of literalism in outdoor advertising. The odd-shaped building is classified as novelty architecture and is also one of the few good examples of roadside architecture. Long Island's most famous landmark is listed in the National Register of Historic Places in Washington, D.C.

By Lilit Khalatyan,