Death Valley California
The 56-foot-high Chimes Tower, begun in 1927, was originally intended to store solar-heated water. Perhaps inspired by the acoustics of the Castle’s canyon setting, Johnson had it redesigned to include a clock and a set of Deagan chimes that could be controlled from any of four locations. Like many of the complex’s elements, its architectural style is part Spanish Revival, part fantasy. Unlike the rest of the Castle’s wood-frame-and-stucco buildings, however, the Chimes Tower is built of poured-in-place concrete. The separate building at foreground is the complex’s powerhouse, which dates from 1929; its concrete walls are rusticated to resemble medieval fitted stone blocks. The Chimes Tower and various other portions of the Castle remained uncompleted when the Depression forced Johnson to halt construction in 1931. Subsequent financial and legal problems prevented him from resuming the work; he died in 1948. Walter Scott continued to live at the castle until his death six years later. The property was purchased in 1970 by the National Park Service.