Sunday, December 2, 2012

Water Walk, 4

Let's finish up our Water Walk with Bellis today, by continuing south along the path below Devil's Gate Dam. There are other wonders to behold, some not easy to see--100-year-old rusted pipes with rivets at their seams, stone walls embedded in the path--but this--what is this?

At last, it doesn't matter that I don't know because Bellis didn't know either, and apparently neither doesPasadena Water & Power.

To give you an idea of size, I'm 5'4" and I'm about as tall as the top of the graffiti on the west side of the tower. You can see a slim window at the top on the south side. It wouldn't be wide enough for an adult to fit through, though maybe a small child could do it.

On the east side of the tower, at the top, there's a sign:
I respect your superior web searching skills. Have at it. I found nothing.

Movie set?

Many thanks to Bellis for a fantastic tour, and to Pasadena Water and Power for the water, and the power.

Update: Here's a nice post on the Zanja walk Bellis took before she took me.

Tomorrow, Zen Monday!
Tuesday, news updates!
After that, I have no idea!

UPDATE: I spoke with Brad Bowman of Pasadena Water and Power, who told me this is a "surge tower." There's a pretty good explanation here. This tower is the "point of release."


Kalei's Best Friend said...

No answers but came across this:

Apparently, the guys on that blog didn't find that small tower... maybe your guess is right?

Katie said...

What a unique find! I especially like the tile roof. With a bit of sleuthing online I'm guessing this is an old cover for an oil well tower, based on the image and info in the following article:

This would be a cool structure to cover in mosaics!

Petrea Burchard said...

KBF, they didn't go that far south so they wouldn't have seen it.

It's an interesting post. I'm not into the paranormal, but much of what they say about the history of the place is true or close to it, as far as I know, though Native Americans did not shun the place. It was actually a location of a settlement, perhaps a little further north near the mouth of Millard Canyon. This is about the spot where Tommy Bowman disappeared, and that story is true. His disappearance was later connected with the confessed mass murderer Mack Ray Edwards. (More info from journalist Weston DeWalt here.)

Parsons and Hubbard were friends and they did party in the upper Arroyo. I don't know that it's true that Parsons had JPL built there for that reason--don't know that he had that power. It was a good spot because it was away from town yet accessible, and scientists could shoot off rockets there, as Parsons was known to do. Ann Erdman created an excellent post about that here, with photos:

Petrea Burchard said...

Katie, there's a lot of oil in LA. I've never heard of any being pumped in Pasadena, but it's possible. I searched the site you linked for Pasadena, and kept coming up with Pasadena, TX!

dive said...

It might well be a real one, Petrea.
Check this article:
"All in all, there are 55 known oil fields in the Los Angeles area, with something over 30,000 producing wells and an equal number of older, plugged and abandoned wells …"
That's a whole lot of wells.
Whatever it is, it makes an attractive shed.

Adele said...

Ooooh... Research!! I probably won't find anything that anyone else couldn't find, but I'm ready for some rainy-day fun!

Ms M said...

Interesting find! And good researchers among the commentators. It is attractive with the green stripes on the building and the tile roof. If it is an old oil well, I hope it's well-sealed.

Thanks to you & Bellis for a fascinating tour!

Bellis said...

I love this mysterious building, especially the current color scheme (it changes every time the graffiti is painted over). The tiles suggest it's from the 1920s, but it's not on any water department maps, there are no doors, no electrical or water connections, no oil in the area, and no such oil company. If it was built for a movie shoot, it seems an unlikely location and a bit too well built. All the links and suggestions today have been very interesting - maybe we'll eventually solve the puzzle. Trish, we need your grandfather's input.

Petrea Burchard said...

Really a fun tour, Bellis, thank you! And thank you all for great links today.

You know who we need, Bellis? Sid Gally.

Patrizzi Intergarlictica said...

I've by there lots of times and photographed it but I never noticed the sign. I was fascinated with the bolts. I thought it was an old pump house for the water co. There's a few around here and there.

Latino Heritage said...

If this were on the south end of the arroyo then it could possibly be an old oil tower. There was an effort that took place thanks to the Bandini/Stearns connections. Perhaps there were efforts at the north end, too? I'll take a bit of time this evening to find more details, although something connected with water is more likely.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, Roberta. This is in the Central Arroyo, near the north end of the golf course, along the path at the east side. To be honest, the sign doesn't look very old, which is what made me think it might be part of a movie set. But I don't know of any films having been shot in this part of the arroyo.

Latino Heritage said...

Ah, then to quote the sage, Roseanne Roseannadanna, "Never mind".

Latino Heritage said...

Ooops. Emily Litella is the correct sage.

Latino Heritage said...

Ooops. Emily Litella is the correct sage.

Trish said...

P-I'm still not recalling details, but something in the back of my mind is tickling a story I remember hearing at my godfather's knee. If you've ever driven out to LAX, you've no doubt seen the derricks out there. Having some in the Arroyo wouldn't be out of the question. There were more than a few charlatans in the area back at the previous turn of the century, perhaps someone built a few to speculate and draw some money?

The other options would be that it was a pumping station for oil to homes in the RB and LV area. I know my grandparents and godparents ALL had converted oil heaters in their places at one time, upgraded by code long before I came along. There used to be large pipes running across the Arroyo that no longer exist.

My 2c

Petrea Burchard said...

There are pipes, Trish--water pipes, though. Big, old, rusted things with rivets. But yes, I've seen the derricks; it's not out of the question.