|Onan's Gold Pyramid House and garages with a moat surrounding|
For many years, I've driven on highway I-94 between Gurnee and Milwaukee and have seen this pyramid from the highway. I always wanted to check it out, and I got lucky yesterday when there was a tour of this fantastic house and grounds. It's been listed on Atlas Obscura and Roadside America. If ever you want to see something a little different when traveling, these are a couple of great websites. If it's weird or amazing, they know about it.
We were met at the front gate by Rocko Onan, a charming man with wit and boyish good looks. He grew up in this house as the youngest son of Jim and Linda Onan, the couple who built it and live there still. He had so many tales to tell about the construction of the house, Egyptology, and pyramids in general and then gave a tour through 2 floors of the house, the grounds, and a replica of King Tut's tomb. I took my husband and son, Omar along and we all enjoyed it. I learned enough that it made me want to know more- the mark of a really great tour. I didn't know much about pyramid power, but apparently if food is kept under a pyramid, it lasts longer. People are reported to be made calm if they are anxious or become energetic when they feel tired. Razor blades retain their sharpness. Drinking water becomes charged with negative ions. Tom reported, at one time people were convinced the water from their spring had healing effects.
Of course with a house like this, you imagine that the people who live there must be serious Egyptologists. Rocko said the likes of Zahi Hawass had been there when it was first built. If you are not familiar with him, he's the face of Egyptology. He's on every TV special made within the last decade. Look for the guy with the Indiana Jones style hat. The Egyptian government used the house as a staging place to promote tourism to Egypt before it was popular. The Onan family made trips to Egypt as the guests of the government. The Egyptian museum was opened for a private tour just for them.
When you first walk into the house from the side, there's a meeting room that was originally supposed to be the family swimming pool, except they found a spring when they drilled for water...thus the moat that is in place now. It had been a gravel pit so it's 40 feet deep in places! The pool idea had to be scrapped and now it looks like this.
|The painted walls were done by an artist from Zion IL- Alan Wright|
|Most of the artifacts you see are replicas|
|This room is rented for meetings or special events|
We went upstairs and the rooms were surprisingly normal. Of course it is a living space. There are 5 floors and 17,000 sq. feet. The pyramid is 6 stories high. Linda was making a snack for her grandson in the kitchen, as we paraded through. It must take some patience to constantly be on view this way. How thoughtful they are to share their house with the rest of the world. I asked Linda what it was like to go through the building of this house and how it must have sounded like an odd request. She said it was just life. She was busy raising kids and he was interested so much in pyramids, that it seemed natural. Rocko said his dad was inspired to build it after reading a University of Wisconsin study suggesting pyramids create energy.
|The chairs here were once Samuel Goldwyn's|
|This door has real gold leaf on it|
|This dining room has hosted celebrities from around the world|
|Notice all the light from the many skylights|
|Sphinxes at Luxor Egypt|
|one of 50 sphinxes lining the drive at the Onan's home|
|Ramses statues at Abu Simbel, Egypt|
|Abdulhamid and Omar in between the legs|
|Omar loved this mummy!|
|Examples of the stash buried with King Tut|
View a video made by Home Strange including an interview with Rocko Onan at the same link.