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James Onan, Gold Pyramid

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  • Location:

    Wadsworth, Illinois, USA (Map)

  • Status:

    Extant

  • Artist:
  • Built:

    1978-1984

  • Materials:

    24k-gold-plated pyramid which is also the Onan family home, sculpture of Ramses II is tinted concrete

Visiting Information

As of January 2012, the Gold Pyramid’s website was offering tours. Call 847-244-7777 for tour times. Cost was $20 for adults and $10 for children age 12 and younger. 

About the Artist/Site

After years of planning, a 55-foot-high, 17,000-square-foot replica of the Great Pyramid of Cheops began to rise in 1978 on an eleven-acre property along North Dilley’s Road, between Interstate Highway 94 and U.S. Highway 41, in Wadsworth, Illinois. Four years later, the Gold Pyramid, the vision of wealthy builder James Onan, was plated in the precious metal and became his family home. Onan also commissioned a 200-ton cement sculpture of Ramses II, eighty small-scale Sphinxes, and three pyramid garages for the property.

After allowing paying guests to tour the site for a few years, Onan closed the pyramid to visitors; however, as of January 2012, the Gold Pyramid’s website states that tours have resumed. Potential visitors are advised to call ahead to confirm access to the property, which is fronted by hieroglyphic-embellished walls 

~Holly Metz

Map and site information

37835-37947 N Dilleys Rd
Wadsworth, Illinois, United States
Latitude/Longitude: 42.412884 / -87.944947

Visiting Information

As of January 2012, the Gold Pyramid’s website was offering tours. Call 847-244-7777 for tour times. Cost was $20 for adults and $10 for children age 12 and younger. 

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