Elwood, The World's Tallest Concrete Gnome – Ames, Iowa - Atlas Obscura
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Ames, Iowa

Elwood, The World's Tallest Concrete Gnome

Beating out all other concrete comers this massive garden feature's pointy hat has earned it a world record. 

Looming amidst the verdant surrounds of Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University, Elwood, a massive garden gnome stands as a jovial sentry against all others would dare challenge his title as tallest concrete gnome in the world.

Elwood, as the rotund, $8,000 ornament is known, stands 15 feet tall from the soles of his boots to the tip of his telltale pointy hat, vying for the surprisingly contentious honor of largest gnome in the world. Elwood beat out the former champ, Gnome Chomsky, a mini-golf course resident in upstate New York who was thought to be the tallest garden gnome in the world until an 18-foot tall freak of kitschy nature was discovered in Poland, beating both of the woodland giants. This European skyscraper was found just as Elwood was being created in a Wisconsin workshop, but unfortunately he was too far along in the design process to make him any taller. 

However all was not lost for Elwood, as the Polish gnome was found to be made of fiberglass as opposed to the Iowa gnome’s 3,500 pounds of rebar and concrete, so his creator’s simply amended his title to “Largest Concrete Gnome in the World.” At least he beat Gnome Chomsky.

Know Before You Go

The gardens are not free. Admission is $9 for adults and $8.50 for seniors.