Huntington Beach State Park
City Directories and History: (Atalaya Castle) Atalaya is significant for its unusual architectural style seldom found in this country, and as winter home of world famous sculptor, Anna Hyatt Huntington, and her philanthropist husband, Archer Milton Huntington, the designer of Atalaya. It is located approximately one hundred and fifty yards from the Atlantic Ocean within the boundaries of Huntington Beach State Park. The single story masonry structure was conceived by Mr. Huntington and was meant by him to resemble the Moorish architecture of the Spanish coast.
Atalaya was built between 1931 and 1933 by local laborers under the direction of contractor William Thompson. Atalaya is built in the shape of a square. It has a flat asphalt and gravel roof with a parapet of simple decorative brickwork. There are twenty-five chimneys located throughout the house capped with copper hoods which rotate with the winds. The exterior walls are stuccoed, with the inner courtyard walls have un-tooled mortar joints. All exterior walls are sprayed with a gray cement coating to help the building blend in with the environment. The house contains thirty rooms which are connected by an inner hall that runs the length of the northern, southern, and eastern elevations and contained the living quarters of the Huntington’s and their servants. Little alteration has taken place on the home and it looks much as it did when completed. Listed in the National Register September 7, 1984; Designated a National Historic Landmark October 5, 1992. [Courtesy of the SC Dept. of Archives and History]
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IMAGE GALLERY via photographer Bill Segars – 2001
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