Amy Strong Castle
The 1921 Arts and Crafts-style Amy Strong Castle in Ramona has suffered from extensive deferred maintenance for several years and is in danger by what is in effect demolition by neglect. Listed on the National Register, the 12,000-square- foot, 27-room adobe structure was completed after five years and $50,000 by master builders John Vawter and Emmor Brooke Weaver. While much of the original exterior stonework is in good shape the same cannot be said for the rotting exposed rafters, roof tiles, sagging arches, rotted wood beams and collapsed windmill steps that dangle dangerously.
Amy Strong's vision, the talents of her architects and the philosophy of the Arts and Crafts Movement can be seen in this enchanting structure. The ideals emphasized harmony between the individual and the environment, intense involvement of the artists with their materials, and the blending of the primitive with the sophisticated.
The finished exterior, the stone work, windmill, bricks and tiles, gargoyles and arches reflect French, Dutch, Spanish and Medieval styles, respectively. Roof tiles are supported on a concrete roof sustained by rock buttresses. The exposed eaves are troughs hewn from unfinished eucalyptus trunks supported by gargoyle figures.
Currently the castle is run as a special-events venue by the Mt. Woodson Golf Club. This amazing cultural and historic landmark should be repaired, maintained and celebrated as a tourist destination and community resource.
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