Monday, June 6, 2011

Arizona’s First Governor

Arizona’s first governor was every bit as “mavericky” as our colorful and controversial leaders today.  When Governor George W. P. Hunt died, he joined his late wife in this pyramid shaped tomb high on top of a butte on state land that has since become Papago Park in the city of Phoenix.  Hunt still holds a national record for the number of times he was elected to the office (7 in total) earning him the moniker “King George VII.”  It is thought that he got the idea of a pyramid shaped tomb when he traveled to Egypt in 1930.  After that trip, he obtained congressional approval to build his tomb on its present site.

In 1910 Hunt served as President of the Constitutional Convention where the Arizona Constitution was drafted. The constitution was quite liberal and included a provision to allow the recall of judges. President Taft would not allow statehood until that provision was eliminated. It was removed and statehood was granted on February 14, 1912. The provision was immediately legislated back into the constitution, in a move that many called “shifty”.



The Tomb is 20 feet tall and is covered in white polished “bathroom” tile. The fence was erected more recently to protect it from vandals. You can imagine the graffiti problem something like this posed before the fence was there.

17 comments:

Steffe said...

I think I will have to build myself something like this, when that day approaches.

Kate said...

I suppose I should be more respectful, but the whole idea of a pyramid, fashioned after the Egyptian pharaohs, strikes me as pretty ludicrous for a final resting place. Rather than mavericky I'd classify it as narcissistic. But it certainly is memorable!!

Kathy said...

Interesting history lesson. Thanks!

Thérèse said...

He probably would not have liked the fence! ;-)))

JM said...

I agree with Thérèse, but he could never imagine gaffiti would 'rule' in our cities... No doubt about how much he enjoyed visiting Giza. :-)

Jack said...

A very interesting post today, Sharon. I have conflicting feelings about his choice of a pyramid on public lands, but I guess there is no need for me to resolve them . . .

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

Lack of modesty seems to be a trait among politicians.

Jarart said...

I remember how surprised I was way back when...at the time I discovered what that pyramid was. This is a great informational post.

David said...

I agree with Dave of Costa Rica (and he knows I speak from experience!). When we were kids we always called it Grant's Tomb from the old joke "Who's buried in Grant's Tomb?" I didn't know the bit about that bathroom tile... Can you imagine spending eternity in a pyramid-shaped bathroom? I wonder if it's a full bath or 3/4...

RedPat said...

How bizarre! It is unfortunate that the fence was needed as it probably was more striking without but it is still very strange.

Irina said...

Very interesting post.
So he wanted pyramid. And it is much better than our poor Lenin who is still laying on the table in his mausoleum..

Regina K said...

With 7 elected terms I guess he felt he deserved a pyramid. To each their own.

Greensboro Daily Photo said...

Keep the parashooters away!

Randy said...

When there were days that I needed to escape I used to love to sit up here and watch the Giraffes at the zoo.

Stephanie said...

I've never liked white bathroom tile (just got rid of ours) but it really works here! It is stunning against the blue sky and desert sand. Hope the fence works!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Excellent post Sharon, a white bathroom tiled pyramid, isn't that what everyone wants deep down hahaha!

Magpie said...

I love learning new things about our state...well new to me anyway. Sounds like a unique fellow.