The owners of one of Chicagoland’s most unusual single family homes have vowed to rebuild after a fire severely damaged the famous Gold Pyramid House in north suburban Wadsworth, Illinois.
Although flames scorched only a handful of rooms during the July 17 incident, the fire and the water used to extinguish the blaze caused an estimated $3 million worth of damage to the oddball home. The situation may leave owners and eccentric lovers of all things associated with ancient Egypt, Jim and Linda Onan, little choice but to demolish the structure.
The Onans built the 17,000-square-foot pyramid as their private residence in 1977 but later opened up the north suburban landmark to guided tours. Its grounds feature a moat, a 55-foot-tall statue of Pharaoh Ramses II, a replica of King Tut’s tomb, and a cluster of three smaller pyramids that comprise the home’s four-car garage.
The six-story structure was initially clad in gold plates before complaints from neighbors prompted their later removal. At one time, the Wadsworth building was believed to be the largest 24-karat gold-plated object in North America, according to the Atlas Obscura.
While the fate of the kitschy suburban attraction is unclear, a spokeswoman for the Gold Pyramid House told the Associated Press that should the owners demolish the home, they plan on replacing it with a “bigger and better” pyramid.
- Chicago’s Gold Pyramid House damaged by fire [Architects Newspaper]
- Fire destroys giant pyramid tourist attraction [New York Post]
- Owners may demolish Gold Pyramid House damaged in fire [Chicago Tribune]