Man builds Pyramid Of Giza replica for his family to live in

The Egyptians may have stopped building pyramids thousands of years ago, but that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped being built in Illinois, USA.

Passionate about the powers behind pyramids, former garage owner Jim Onan built a scaled replica of the Pyramids of Giza for his family to live in.

Built in 1977, it remains the family home to this day, as well as operating as a museum.


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Jim’s son Rocko loves to visit Egypt and started leading group tours to the country last year. Picture: Getty Images

The 4.5 hectare property comes with a gold pyramid, an exact replica of Tutankhamun’s tomb and a moat.

“The most magical thing about this pyramid is the people that are drawn to it. I don’t do a lot of advertising and it’s packed on every tour that I give” Jim’s son Rocko says.

The inspiration

Jim Onan has a passion for pyramids. Picture: Gold Pyramid

Jim Onan was already passionate for all things Egypt, but after learning in a university class that many believe that the pyramids radiate energy, he became even more obsessed.

He began filling his home with tiny replicas of the pyramids and showing guests the sensation you could feel if you placed your hand over the one tiny pyramid that faced true north.

Onan believes pyramids are powerful. Picture: Gold Pyramid

Onan further experimented with their powers by building a 4m pyramid in his backyard and filling it with plants.

He says the plants grew three times faster than his botanist son could grow them, with no explanation.

The Pyramid

The pyramid is completely covered in gold plates. Picture: Gold Pyramid

While it’s believed that over 100,000 people built the ancient pyramids, Jim Onan almost single-handedly built his replica, that’s scaled to one ninth of the size.

Not doing things by halves, Onan spent $1m to cover it in 24 carat gold, making it the tallest gold structure in North America.

While the bottom level was meant to be an indoor pool, the plans changed after the floor began flooding because of the springs underneath the house.

The family redirected the water through pipes to use as heating and cooling, and redirected more out of the house, forming an extravagant moat around the structure.

200 tonne statue

After travelling to Egypt, Onan decided to add, not just any statue, but a 152m tall, 200 tonne statue of Ramesses II – the third pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty of Egypt.

The statue was too tall for council requirements, but Onan refused to take it down, instead piling dirt around its knees to make it appear shorter.

Public interest

The house was filled with Egyptian details. Picture: Gold Pyramid

The Onans were initially approached by a charity interested in using the home for a special event and from there interest expanded across the community.

The house was meant to be a home. Picture: Gold Pyramid

In an interview on The Gold Pyramid website, Onan‘s son, Rocko, says people from all over the world visit the home every year.

The pyramid is surrounded by a moat.

The pyramid today

The Pyramid is open for conferences and tours but is still a family home. Picture: Gold Pyramid

The house has been popular with celebrities during the past 40 years, with Muhammed Ali wanting to buy it for a training facility and Michael Jackson wanting to do a music video there.

Although Jim can no longer run tours after being diagnosed with dementia, his son and his family keep his passion alive.

Rocko decorated this intricate door himself. Picture: Gold Pyramid

The family have since added a replica of Tutankhamun‘s tomb and plan to build a temple and another tomb on the property.

Author: Bree Guthrie