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This tiny, medieval-like stone tower in Palos Verdes Estates needs a new caretaker – Daily News

This tiny, medieval-like stone tower in Palos Verdes Estates needs a new caretaker – Daily News

The tiny tower seems prefer it was plucked straight out of the pages of a storybook, mimicking a miniature medieval fort welcoming passersby on the entrance into Palos Verdes Estates.

The stone construction has been a decades-old thriller for many who drive previous: How previous is it? Is it haunted? What’s it for?

The Mirlo Gate Tower is considered one of Palos Verdes Estates’ most prized landmarks, frozen in time regardless of the city sprawl that sprouted up close by. A current effort to get the “Tower House” added to the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations has put the story of the tower’s previous into the highlight.

  • John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his publish, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

  • John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his submit, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

  • John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his publish, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

  • John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his submit, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

  • John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his submit, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

  • John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his publish, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

  • John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his publish, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

  • John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his submit, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

  • John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his submit, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

  • John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his submit, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

  • John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his publish, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

  • John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his publish, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

  • John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his submit, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

  • John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his submit, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

  • John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his submit, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

 

And for the fitting one that might envision dwelling in the distinctive tiny home — as John Doty did for almost 5 many years — it might develop into the right place to name residence as the town seeks a new renter and caretaker to stay in the 508-square-foot dwelling.

“It’s really something extraordinary,” stated Palos Verdes Estates Councilman Sanford Davidson. “You have to have a certain personality to live in a place like that.”

Imaginative and prescient of a haven

The Tower Home was constructed in 1925 and sits on a metropolis park greenbelt on the entrance of the Valmonte neighborhood. The tower’s property line is a step from Torrance’s border.

When the Olmsted Brothers, famend architects, sought to develop the world, their imaginative and prescient was to create a haven totally different from the fashionable cities sprouting up throughout Southern California.

They employed architect Clarence E. Howard, who had hung out in World Conflict I embedded in areas of France and introduced again with him medieval design influences.

He used Palos Verdes Stone, a grey and beige limestone discovered in the world, to form the round constructing 18 ft in diameter. Its ceiling, in the form of a cone, was made out of wooden shingles.

John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his submit, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

“The tower shows Howard’s grasp of the Palos Verdes aesthetic,” reads a report submitted to the State of California’s Workplace of Historic Preservation, which additionally talked about the tower’s “pastoral whimsy and the distinction and depth of stonemasonry.”

Valmonte was “advertised as being inland on high ground overlooking metropolitan areas, the mountains and the sea,” a change from the “ugly, modern cities,” the report reads.

The town took over possession of the tower when Palos Verdes Estates was included in 1939.

The intent was to make it a guard tower, however that by no means got here to fruition. As an alternative, it turned residence to a number of metropolis staff in the early years, together with a gardener and a policeman.

However the newest caretaker, who occupied the place for 48 years, is aware of extra concerning the whimsical tower than anybody.

Tower tales

John Doty remembered driving previous the stone tower and being intrigued by its uniqueness.

His family-run development firm, Doty Brothers Development, helped put water strains in all through the town. When he heard the tower wanted a tenant, he put his identify in the operating.

John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his publish, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

The location had been topic to vandalism in the previous, based on a 12-month lease settlement drafted in 1970 between the town and Doty. Having somebody on website full time would deter vandals, he stated.

Within the early days, his lease was a whopping $75 a month to reside in the small one-bedroom residence that may make a claustrophobic cringe.

His first few years, Doty questioned why nobody stopped there to get sweet throughout Halloween — till neighbors advised him youngsters have been too scared as a result of the tower appeared spooky.

By way of the years, passersby would inquire concerning the whimsical place, and in the event that they needed a look inside, more often than not he’d oblige.

For a single man who didn’t want a lot, it was the right place to name house.

“Who wouldn’t want to live in this place?” he questioned.

Time capsule

The stacked stones are wedged tightly on prime of each other to type the superbly round constructing.

Inside, pink and yellow stained glass in diamond shapes hold the daylight out. The identical design — however blue and yellow — might be seen in the bed room window upstairs. Brown wall paper with a tough texture of a burlap bag has remained because the ’70s.

John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his publish, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

Doty identified upgrades he made throughout his years dwelling in the tower, just like the door he modified to the other aspect after studying the wind would blow out the hearth each time it was opened. The fireside is manufactured from the identical Palos Verdes Stone as the surface facade.

“This place gets cold in the wintertime, even with the fireplace on,” he stated.

Since Doty moved out in October, a few cobwebs have collected on a bookshelf above the sofa, each designed with a half-circle form in order that they match snugly up towards the rounded wall. A lot of the partitions are naked, apart from a giant medieval sword that hangs in the bed room.

“What are you going to put on the walls? They are curved walls, you can’t put pictures,” he famous.

John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his submit, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

Solely a twin mattress matches in the bed room. The dresser needed to be hoisted in with a crane by way of the window. A small area close to the stairway hides a reel-to-reel tape participant, nonetheless hooked as much as amplifier audio system that crackle when turned on.

“The only thing I never got is a proper painting here,” he stated, pointing to a naked wall throughout from the mattress. “It needed something.”

Maybe the subsequent tenant can discover a good image to hold.

Caretaker needed

Pete Tepus, upkeep foreman for Palos Verdes Estates, joked that it’s going to take a “well-rounded person” to reside in the tower.

The views from the property overlook the Torrance airport and slivers of the huge South Bay.

“It’s paradise on the edge of Los Angeles,” he stated.

The Metropolis Council in July determined to use for the stone tower to be placed on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations. Davidson stated the historic nomination outcomes must be launched in early 2019.

John Doty has lived because the caretaker of a tiny stone tower overlooking the ocean in Palos Verdes Estates, a constructing so distinctive the town is hoping to earn historic standing for the construction, the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower With John retiring from his submit, the town is on the hunt for a new caretaker Photograph By Chuck Bennett

Already, in 1988, the Rancho de Los Palos Verdes Historic Society named the Mirlo Gate Lodge Tower a historic landmark, marked with a bronze plaque close to the mailbox.

Rental charges have but to be decided. Doty didn’t disclose his most up-to-date month-to-month lease. Davidson stated that they’re in search of “someone who will be a maintenance person as well as a good tenant.”

“Like the man who lived there, just a regular guy, a single older man — it just suited his lifestyle,” Davidson stated. “He just lived in this little place… It became a labor of love for him.”

The town won’t be doing a rework of the inside they usually must clear any modifications to the tower.

“Nobody would be able to come in there and gut it and make it into a triplex,” he stated.

There was dialogue about making it a non-occupied historic monument, however there was fear that it will require safety or police presence.

“It was decided the most logical and practical way to deal with this is to have a tenant who cares about the property,” he stated.

“For some people, it’s like a dream come true.”

To inquire about making use of for tenancy, contact the Palos Verdes Estates Metropolis Supervisor’s Workplace at [email protected]