23 April 2016

Atalaya

Atalaya, Huntington Beach State Park, SC    
I am fascinated by how extremely rich people chose to spend their money but when they are smart and talented it is even more interesting. Atalaya at Huntington Beach State Park just above Pawley's Island was the winter home of Anna Hyatt Huntingon and her husband writer researcher Archer. I had already seen many of her incredible sculptures at Brookgreen Gardens but this is amazing to see where her studios were and live bears, monkeys and horses roamed. A wedding party was being prepped for as we were leaving.
Atalaya (AH-tuh-lie-yuh) means "watchtower" in Arabic, as in the real Atalaya Castle in Spain. The house is dominated by a square tower, which housed a 3,000 gallon water tank. Rising nearly 40 feet (12 m) from a covered walkway, it bisects Atalaya's inner court. The inner walls of the main courtyard were covered with creeping fig vines, Sabal palmettos, the South Carolina state tree, and other palms.The living quarters consist of 30 rooms around three sides of the perimeter, while the studio, with its 25-foot (8 m) skylight, opens onto a small, enclosed courtyard where Anna Hyatt Huntington worked on her sculptures. Pens for animal models, including horses, dogs and bears, are situated adjacent to the open studio. The building also features hand-wrought iron grills designed by Mrs. Huntington, which cover the exteriors of windows. These and shutters were installed for protection against hurricane winds.
Transition: During World War II the Huntingtons vacated Atalaya and provided it to the Army Air Corps for use from 1942 to 1946.The Huntingtons last used Atalaya as their winter home in 1947. Most of the furnishings were sent to New York City after Mr. Huntington's death in 1955. The studio equipment was moved to a new studio at Brookgreen Gardens just across U.S. Route 17, which cut through the Huntingtons' former contiguous property.