When one thinks of pyramid ruins, it is usually deserts, sphinxes, and ancient mummies that come to mind. But the ruins of the Limestone Pyramid in Needmore, Indiana are of a more modern (and bureaucratic) sort.
The limestone of Indiana contributed to some the greatest buildings in America: the Pentagon and the Empire State Building to name two. Residents of Bedford, Indiana – “The Limestone Capital of the World” – wanted the world to recognize their contributions and thus began plans to build a set of limestone pyramids of their own based on the great Pyramids of Cheops. They were going to create a replica one-fifth of the size – still a towering 95 feet – as well as a replica of the Great Wall of China, 650 feet long. The replicas would attract visitors to the Limestone Tourist Park, and perhaps the tourists would stick around Bedford to see all this southern Indiana town had to offer.
The federal government gave the city grant money to start the project at a nearby limestone quarry, but shortly after construction began, the project came under attack. The “Golden Fleece” awards, awarded by a Wisconsin senator, annually ridiculed pork projects that waste tax dollars. In 1981, the Bedford Limestone Pyramid was the lucky recipient of the Golden Fleece.
Government funding was revoked after just one layer of limestone had been laid, leaving a very sad modern ruin behind. The limestone layer can still be viewed about nine miles north of Bedford.
Know Before You Go
From Roadside American: Nine miles north of Bedford (about 14-15 miles south of Bloomington) on Hwy 37. At a very lonely stoplight, turn southeast onto "Old Highway 37." The street sign is very tiny; look instead for the Crest Motel, Citgo station, Evans Grocery. Old Hwy 37 dead-ends four miles later at the abandoned park.