Historical Origin And Design Inspiration
Construction began on Scotty's Castle (Death Valley Ranch) in 1922, and cost between $1.5 and $2.5 million. A man named Walter Scott, also known as "Death Valley Scotty", convinced Chicago millionaire Albert Johnson to invest in his (fraudulent) gold mine in the Death Valley area. By 1937, Johnson had acquired more than 1,500 acres in Grapevine Canyon, where the ranch is located.
The stock market crash of 1929, dealt a blow to Johnson's source of capital, but did not immediately affect his sizable personal fortune. Another event in 1930, however, did make it difficult for Johnson to finish construction: President Herbert Hoover ordered the withdrawal of 2 million acres (8,000 km of land in the Death Valley area from public domain pending the creation of Death Valley National Monument. The surveyors sent to map out the boundaries of the new National Monument discovered that the surveys done of the region in the late 1800s in service to the original homesteader residents had been completed incorrectly.
As a result, it was found that Johnson had not actually acquired title to the land where the "castle" had been begun, but instead a plot of land approximately one mile north and one mile (1.6 km) west of the castle property. Following this discovery, Johnson was unable to continue construction. He locked up the grounds and returned to Chicago. Johnson's property fiasco was rectified in 1935 after five years of court battles, but Johnson's main business interest, the National Life Insurance Company, had gone into receivership in 1933. This, in combination with the hefty court fees and the price of re-purchasing his 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) in Death Valley, left Johnson with little capital with which to continue.
Castle (from Latin castellum) is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble. This is distinct from a palace, which is not fortified, from a fortress, which was not always a residence for nobility, and from a fortified town, which was a public defence
though there are many similarities among these types of construction. Usage of the term has varied over time and has been applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the approximately 900 years that castles were built they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls and arrowslits, were commonplace.
A European innovation, castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries, after the fall of the Carolingian Empire resulted in its territory being divided among individual lords and princes. These nobles built castles to control the area immediately surrounding them, and were both offensive and defensive structures; they provided a base from which raids could be launched as well as protection from enemies.
Although their military origins are often emphasised in castle studies, the structures also served as centres of administration and symbols of power. Urban castles were used to control the local populace and important travel routes, and rural castles were often situated near features that were integral to life in the community, such as mills and fertile land.
Many castles were originally built from earth and timber, but had their defences replaced later by stone. Early castles often exploited natural defences, and lacked features such as towers and arrowslits and relied on a central keep. In the late 12th and early 13th centuries, a scientific approach to castle defence emerged. This led to the proliferation of towers, with an emphasis on flanking fire. Many new castles were polygonal or relied on concentric defence – several stages of defence within each other that could all function at the same time to maximise the castle's firepower.
These changes in defence have been attributed to a mixture of castle technology from the Crusades, such as concentric fortification, and inspiration from earlier defences such as Roman forts. Not all the elements of castle architecture were military in nature, and devices such as moats evolved from their original purpose of defence into symbols of power. Some grand castles had long winding approaches intended to impress and dominate their landscape.
Although gunpowder was introduced to Europe in the 14th century, it did not significantly affect castle building until the 15th century, when artillery became powerful enough to break through stone walls. While castles continued to be built well into the 16th century, new techniques to deal with improved cannon fire made them uncomfortable and undesirable places to live. As a result, true castles went into decline and were replaced by artillery forts with no role in civil administration, and country houses that were indefensible. From the 18th century onwards, there was a renewed interest in castles with the construction of mock castles, part of a romantic revival of Gothic architecture, but they had no military purpose.
Most Designs Used Today Were Conceived Hundreds Of Years Ago By Some Of The Worlds Most Famous Architects And Designers Working For The Aristocracies And The Well To Do Of Their Period.
Many of these architects and designers are as well known as Leonardo da Vinci (renaissance architecture) or Michelangelo,s (baroque architecture) as well as more recently William Morris, John Ruskin (founders of the Arts and Crafts furniture movement in circa 1800 England) Gustave Stickley (founder of the American Arts and Crafts movement in America circa 1900.) Frank Loyd Wright, Charles and Henry Greene to name a few.
Every Successful Creative Enterprise Is Always Built On A Foundation That Was Laid Down By Its Predecessors.
All creative people are dependent upon the groundwork laid down by those who came before them. H. J. Nick, artist and direct descendant of the Marbella brothers, and Scottsdale Art Factory have built on these foundations and have raised the bar of quality even higher. Thus setting a new standard and offering the finest one of a kind handmade furnishings found anywhere in the world in the 21st century.
Today Our Master Craftsman Build All Of Our Products Using The Identical Methods And Materials Of The Historical Period Of Each Furnishings Design Conception.
All 21st Century Designs Are Also Built By Our Master Craftsman Using These Classic Traditional Methods.
Whether We Build Products For Your Modern Dream Home Or Ancient Castle
every element Is always built to future collectable antiquity investment quality standards and will stand the test of time. Destined to become a part of your families appreciating financial net worth as well as a proud to own legacy heirloom.