National Register of Historic Places in Marin County

National Register #76000497: Lyfords Stone Tower
National Register #76000497: Lyfords Stone Tower
24 June 2012
(Click Photos to Zoom)
National Register #76000497
Lyford's Stone Tower
2034 Paradise Drive
Built 1889

The plaque above the fireplace reads:

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 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

Prev | Next
Marin County: List | Map
California: List | Map