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From Water Tower to ‘Ultimate Beach House’

Friday, December 16, 2016

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Most people don’t think “water tower” when they’re planning a vacation, but for those in the know, one of the most desirable beach house rentals in Orange County, CA, is just that.

It's not just a water tank, of course. The so-called “So Cal Water Tower,” on the border of Seal Beach and Sunset Beach, is a converted, residential version of a historic water tank that existed on the same site for decades prior.

The tower form is part of its appeal as a rental. Of course, the 360 degrees of views of Huntington Beach from 100 feet up don’t hurt, either.

Tower History

The site of the current water tower house originally housed a 75,000-gallon water tank that serviced steam engines in the 19th and early 20th century, according to a recent profile in the San Jose Mercury-News. By the late 1970s, it was no longer in use and had fallen into disrepair.

A developer bought the parcel of land in 1980 and rebuilt the tower as a house in order to preserve the look of the beloved landmark, but give it a new look. According to a TV feature on the house, the tank was removed and converted, and eventually lifted back to the top of the refurbished frame.

The last owner, Gerald Wallace, had lived in the three-story house, then rented it out on a weekly basis to vacationers looking for the “ultimate beach house.” The house features a fire pit, 145-gallon aquarium and “party room” dance floor, among other amenities.

New Owners

Earlier this year, he sold the house to real estate broker Scott Ostlund and a partner, who are renting it out for $675 to $995 per night, or $4,500 to $6,750 per week, according to the Mercury News. They recently held an open house at the home to let locals take a peek inside the legendary structure, and they’ve even started a Twitter account for the tower house.

The coastal perch might not be the best vacation rental for someone with a fear of heights, but it’s certainly a unique place to spend a week. And don’t worry: It comes equipped with an elevator.


Tagged categories: Historic Preservation; Water Tanks

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