Skip to main content
Get 15% Off Gutter Helmet Today!*


This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Is This a Gutter or a … ?

By November 20, 2012October 16th, 2023No Comments

There are some parts of a home in which people tend to focus their creative talents, like landscaping, windows, or front doors. But usually, gutters are home elements that folks just take for granted as utilitarian components of the structure’s drainage system.

But as these pictures demonstrate, there are plenty of artistic and imaginative ways to construct, place, or shape gutters. So as you look at these eye-catching photos, ask yourself: Is this a gutter, or a …

1. … type of fancy architecture? A little of both, perhaps. This is a shot of the old Central Police Station which was built in 1926 in Cleveland. The painted copper gutters feature what’s known as cheneau, which is the ornate decoration on gutters and eaves that make them resemble cornices.

Broken Stone Wall

2. … Polish gargoyle? It’s really a gargoyle on the Wawel Cathedral in Poland. Did you know that gargoyles originated as ornamental termination points for gutters? Some churches also believed they warded off evil spirits. Talk about multitasking!

Polish Gargoyle Gutter Design

3. … broken piece of stone wall? Though this wall may look “broken” in the middle, it’s actually a well-designed gutter channel into which water from the pipe above it flows, thus directing the water away from the building’s foundation. Oh, and this isn’t an ancient structure; it’s the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas.

Broken Stone Wall

4. … roofing malfunction? This Japanese house does sort of look like its owner allowed his/her brother-in-law to do some roofing work (“No problem! It’ll be easy!”). Trying to trace the intended flow of the runoff water is a little like attempting to navigate one of those complex mazes in puzzle books.

Roofing Malfunction

5. … piece of exercise equipment? This man isn’t doing chin-ups or just hanging around (Ha!). He’s demonstrating how strong the gutters are that he just installed. Though this type of test is not recommended for homeowners, any of those residents who live in Maine may want to consider calling Horch Roofing to have their gutters put up.

6. … work of urban art? This network of gutters on a downtown Seattle building is certainly artistic. But if you follow the piping, you’ll see that runoff water is indeed channeled toward the ground. The flora sticking out from the pipes is for show — and not debris that’s clogging the gutters.

Urban Gutter Art

7. … Rube Goldberg contraption? Someone spent a lot of time, effort, guttering, and paint to fashion this network of gutters on the façade of this European apartment building. But this apparatus does more than direct runoff water flow — it actually plays music when it rains!

8. … fancy planter? People who don’t have much space to work with but want to plant vegetables, fruit, herbs, or flowers can make their own “gutter gardens.” Just take a few gutter sections, cut them to size, hang them from your patio or balcony, and fill them with soil and seeds. Simple and innovative!

9. … dish rack? Ever noticed how much money some furniture stores charge for simple shelving units? There’s no reason why you can’t take a couple of gutter sections, mount them to the wall above your sink, and use them to store (or air dry) dishes, cups, and other utensils.

10. … set of rocking chairs? With the exception of the wicker seats, these chairs were constructed completely out of cut-up pieces of guttering. Perhaps “sitting in the gutter” can actually be comfortable and fashionable!

Photo credits:,,,,,,