The Pirate's Staircase
A couple of weeks I took this image at a local spot in Laguna Beach in Orange County, CA - I am still looking for local spots after relocating from Australia at the start of the year.
Anyway, I was very lucky that evening that the clouds just opened up for sunset and that the tide was just right to provide some nice wave action on the beach.
The story behind the tower is interesting:
As it turns out, the tower is nothing more than a fancy staircase for the homeowner above. Both the house and tower were built in 1926 for the family of William E. Brown, a state senator representing California's 37th district. By the look of things from the beach below, Brown lived quite well. The French provincial revival house overlooking the Pacific ocean served as a summer/holiday home for the distinguished gentleman and his family. Brown sold the property in the 1940s to a retired Naval officer from Los Angeles named Harold Kendrick.
It was then that the building took on a pirate-related mystique. Kendrick was known for known for dressing himself up as a seafaring plunderer and hiding coins in the tower's many crevices. Neighborhood kids would scour the staircase for hidden treasure, and what they found, they were allowed to keep.
Since then the home has changed hands multiple times and was recently owned by Hollywood diva Bette Midler, but it would seem glory of the Pirate tower of Victoria Beach is now at a low ebb. As it stares across the deep like a silent sentinel, the forces of nature slowly chip away at its facade. In February 2012, a city building inspector found the shingle roof had reached the end of its life span and that "hydrostatic compression" had led to excessive cracking of the exterior plaster.
Let's hope it will withstand the elements a bit longer to serve as such nice photo subject.