ODESSA, Texas (FOX 24) – Stonehenge in England is incredible to see, but folks don’t have to travel overseas to see such an amazing monument. There’s a replica right here in the Permian Basin.
We had a chance to talk with a couple of the men who made this now famous landmark possible.
From above it’s stunning, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin Stonehenge was built in 2004 and draws thousands of visitors each year.
“These are 30 to 40 thousand pound stones,” said Chris Stanley, UTPB Associate Professor of Art.
Stanley is also one of those responsible for making it happen.
“We will always be oil and gas, we don’t ever not want to be because we’re the epicenter of it. But as we start to evolve into other things and other forms of economies that are going to help the basin stabilize and grow, I see the arts as being pivotal to that process.”
Dick Gillham is also one of the founder’s.
“It just makes you proud that you had a part in it,” said Gillham.
It’s estimated the original Stonehenge took about 1,500 years to build. The replica went up in just six weeks.
“What has always been fascinating for me is that these people 6,000 to 10,000 years ago were able to moves those stones,” said Stanley.
“I can’t imagine what it would be like if you tried to build this without equipment,” said Gillham.
“It wasn’t random, all of this is a gigantic calendar,” said Stanley. “It tells the sunrise at summer solstice and the sunset at the winter solstice.”
The Stonehenge Replica is slightly shorter than the original, but it’s exact in horizontal size.
“Stonehenge was built by people who were building a civilization. So for me, the grand metaphor of us putting it here was that in a way, it’s what our students going through. They’re trying to build their own pathways. It took a large amount of people, like the people that are here on our university, to help them sure up civilization. For them and for us, we grow by building,” said Stanley.
“I thought we had done a good thing for the City of Odessa. I just hope we come up with some other idea that would enhance Stonehenge in the future, and would have the impact that Stonehenge has had,” said Gillham.
The best part is the exhibit can be accessed anytime and it’s free.