Dinner table crowd at Sunnyslope Rock Garden.
Dinner table crowd at Sunnyslope Rock Garden.

Sunnyslope Rock Garden

Field review by the editors.

Phoenix, Arizona

The Sunnyslope Rock Garden is an odd cluster of tiny buildings, weird masks and rock fountains, on the front lawn of a house in a weedy, biker neighborhood. Builder Grover Cleveland Thompson, who died in 1978, moved to this unincorporated area of Phoenix in 1952, and spent twenty-two years building his fantasy world. He had been inspired by Petersen Rock Garden in Redmond, OR, a more ambitious testament to the onset of dementia concretia.

Space Needle at Sunnyslope.

Thompson used shards of Fiestaware because it was cheap, and rumored to be radioactive. "Only a little Strontium 90, " says current owner Marion Blake (Marion snapped the place up when she moved from New York twenty years ago).

Thompson cast the faces of his figures by pouring concrete into '50s Halloween masks.

Sunnyslope Rock Garden

10023 N. 13th Pl., Phoenix, AZ
I-17 exit 207. East on Dunlap Ave. for three miles. Turn north onto Cave Creek Rd for one mile. Turn right onto E. Cheryl Drive (a small street), then an immediate right onto N. 13th Place. The Garden is halfway down the block, on the east side.
Open to public 1st Friday of month 2-6 pm.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Viking StatueViking Statue, Phoenix, AZ - 1 mi.
Grasshopper BridgeGrasshopper Bridge, Phoenix, AZ - 4 mi.
Vietnamese Martyrs ChurchVietnamese Martyrs Church, Phoenix, AZ - 4 mi.
In the region:
Muffler Man - Bunyan, Phoenix, AZ - 12 mi.

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January 28, 2020

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