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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tiburon in Marin County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Dr. Lyford's Stone Tower

 
 
Dr. Lyford's Stone Tower Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 6, 2013
1. Dr. Lyford's Stone Tower Marker
Inscription. THE STONE TOWER (also called the Stone Lodge, the Castle, or just Lyford's Tower) was designed and built about 1889 by the San Francisco architect Gustav A. Behrnd for Dr. Benjamin F. Lyford, retired inventor, physician and scientist, as the gateway to the southern portion of his Utopian tract, "Hygeia, or Goddess of Health." Originally a stone archway crossing Paradise Drive was attached to the tower, but it was removed in the 1920's. The open space under the roof was enclosed as a wood-framed office with shingles painted in striped patterns.

Architecturally, the tower is a fine example of the simplified form of Richardson Romanesque built in local cut ashlar sandstone, according to Dr. Joseph A. Baird, Jr., architectural historian.

Dr. Lyford's "Hygeia" was the first subdivision of the Tiburon Peninsula. Married to the owner of the land, the former Hilarita Reed, his tract skirted the edge of the Bay for several miles at Point Tiburon. Part of the Mexican land grant Rancho Corte Madera dei Presidio, "Hygeia" was planned for a townsite and suburban homes. Streets were given Spanish names that survive today. "Vistazo" for view, "Solano" for sunshine, "Diviso" for dividing, "Mar East" for east sea.

Through the efforts of the Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society, a campaign was launched to preserve the
Dr. Lyford's Stone Tower Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 6, 2013
2. Dr. Lyford's Stone Tower Marker - Wide View
The marker is in the interior of the tower, above the fireplace. There are no windows or doors, and it is open to the public.
Stone Tower. It was designated the first historical land mark in the Town of Tiburon, California, on Nov. 25, 1974, and was listed on the National Register of Historical Places on Dec. 2, 1976 by the National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.

Tiburon Heritage Commission, 1980
 
Erected 1980 by Tiburon Heritage Commission.
 
Location. 37° 52.406′ N, 122° 26.951′ W. Marker is in Tiburon, California, in Marin County. Marker can be reached from Paradise Drive north of Mar West Street. Click for map. Parking nearby will probably be very difficult. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2034 Paradise Drive, Belvedere Tiburon CA 94920, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Northwestern Pacific (approx. 0.3 miles away); Samuel Blake Chapman (approx. 0.4 miles away); McNeil’s Pioneer Boathouse (approx. 0.4 miles away); The “Harbor Light” (approx. 0.4 miles away); 1925 Victorian Saloon (approx. 0.4 miles away); James Yeh Jau Liu (approx. 0.4 miles away); Fleming Rooming House (approx. half a mile away); 1895 Ark Houseboat (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Tiburon.
 
Also see . . .  LYFORD'S TOWER - Atlas Obscura.
Dr. Lyford's Stone Tower Marker Inset Showing the Tower Before the Road was Widened. image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 6, 2013
3. Dr. Lyford's Stone Tower Marker Inset Showing the Tower Before the Road was Widened.
This odd little Norman-style stone tower overlooking Angel Island is all that remains of a Victorian-era plan for a health-obsessed Utopian village in Tiburon. A stone arch once spanned the street forming a gateway to the development, which never came to be. (Submitted on December 24, 2015.) 
 
Categories. Settlements & Settlers
 
Dr. Lyford's Stone Tower - View from North image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 6, 2013
4. Dr. Lyford's Stone Tower - View from North
Dr. Lyford's Stone Tower - View from South image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 6, 2013
5. Dr. Lyford's Stone Tower - View from South
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 327 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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