PALOS VERDES ESTATES LANDMARKS
One of the more spectacular buildings in Palos Verdes Estates is the mansion constructed in 1928 for J.J. Haggarty of Haggarty's Department Stores.The original mansion included a 6 car garage. In addition to the magnificent villa, Haggarty also built a pier extending from his property into the ocean for the purpose of launching his boats. False rumors claimed he used it for smuggling imports into the country. This pier, just to the south of the Swim Club, can be seen in old photographs of the Swim Club. The mansion was never occupied by the Haggartys, as Mrs. Haggarty preferred to stay at the family estate on Adams Blvd. closer in to the city of Los Angeles. Mr. Haggarty died in 1935, and the mansion was vacant for many years, and became to be rumored as haunted. Sometime in the early 1940's, an eccentric inventor purchased the property, and furnished it with a large collection of nude statues and paintings. Finally, the Neighborhood Church acquired the property in 1950 for only $70,000. The church subsequently replaced the 6 car garage with a social hall.
Palos Verdes Estates Gatehouse
This stone, castle-like structure, which is at 4420 Via Valmonte, near the entrance to Palos Verdes Estates on Via Valmonte, just up from Hawthorne Blvd., was built in 1926 as a guard's house for what was intended to be a gated entrance to the new Palos Verdes Project. The structure is a two story 15 foot diameter round building with 18 inch thick walls. It has two floors; a bedroom and bathroom area upstairs and a living room with a stone fireplace and a kitchen downstairs. This structure was known as the "Stone Tower", "Tower House" and the "Mirlo Gate Lodge" (Via Valmonte was originally named Via Mirlo, was renamed Hawthorne Ave. prior to Hawthorne Blvd. being extended south over the Peninsula Hill to the ocean, and then renamed Via Valmonte). Title was taken to this structure by Palos Verdes Estates in 1939 when the city was incorporated, and is leased by the city as a residence.
Malaga Cove Library
The Malaga Cove Library opened on June 3, 1930 as the Palos Verdes Library and Art Gallery. In keeping with the vision for the new community that was being established on the Peninsula, the library benefited from some of the best design thinking of its time. The building architect, Myron Hunt, was already known for his work on the Rose Bowl, the Pasadena Public Library, and other area buildings. The landscape architects, the Olmsted Brothers, were not only the sons of Frederick Law Olmsted of Central Park fame but well-known in their own right.
In many ways the design of the library, with its inclusion of a multipurpose Gallery room designed for both art exhibits and public performances and its beautiful outdoor spaces, was ahead of its time and foreshadowed the role libraries play today as community gathering places and not just repositories for books.
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