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Saturday, April 14, 2012

M - Mystery Castle

Mystery Castle is located in the foothills of South Mountain Park in Phoenix, Az. It was built by a man by the name of Boyce Luther Guller in the 1930's for his daughter Mary Lou Gulley. He had been diagnosed with tuberculosis and came here to Arizona where he lived until he died in 1945. It was at that time that Mary Lou and her mother were notified they had inherited this "castle".
Said to be held together by a combination of mortar, cement, calcium  and goat milk this sprawling 18 room, three story building is built from a wide range of materials that were easily available to Guller. Such things as stone, adobe, automobile parts, salvaged rail tracks, refrigerator parts and telephone poles to name a view.
Mary Lou and her mother moved in and began giving tours of the unique dwelling and in fact Mary Lou did so until her death in 2010.
When I visited the castle many years ago she was not there but I think it would have been wonderful to have her rendition of the place. The one thing that I thought was ingenious is that the heavy iron bed was on railway tracks and could be pushed close to the window in the summer and away from the window in the winter. Electricity and plumbing were not added until 1992 if you can imagine in our Arizona heat.

How about this window?

Or maybe you would prefer this one?
Or better yet this refrigerator parts were used to make this one.

He built a stone frame around the view of  Phoenix and didn't forget the dog either...
with this little tepee dog house.

Ingenious yes but can you imagine the amount of work all this rock work took.
Guller made this house out of nothing. Literally what he found in the dessert an what he was able to purchase amazingly cheap from junk dealers. But out of it, he built a monument of love for his daughter.

Even though the daughter is deceased as of this date the castle is still open for tours from Oct. to May and Thurs. - Sun. 


Nancy said...

Definitely a labor of love. The man was a true artist!

Granny Annie said...

Amazing! So exactly how many years did he work on they Mystery Castle and how old was he when he died? You sure do find some neat stuff!

Chatty Crone said...

What an interesting story - I never heard about this. Making a castle out of what was right there for his daughter. Wow. sandie

Lady Di Tn said...

aH, this is the best letter yet. Wonder why no one told us about this when we visited Phoenix. Just have go back. Peace

TexWisGirl said...

wow. what a unique 'gift'. i am glad she enjoyed it and shared it with the world.

Dana said...

That must have been been so much fun to visit! Thanks for sharing.

Dana, via the A to Z Challenge

Inger said...

How interesting -- and he built all this while being sick with TB? I really liked the fact that his daughter appreciated the gift and stayed there all her life, sharing it with others.

Laura Marcella said...

Hello! This is so awesome. I have family members out in Arizona and I'll have to ask them if they've ever toured this place. I love the unique windows!

Have a lovely weekend and happy A to Z!!

Lynn said...

That is so cool! I love quirky things like that.

Tracy said...

WOW! That is so cool and truly to think it is in AZ is beyond looks as it belongs in another country. I love the wagon wheel window!
Very lovely blog and I have that same exact quote on my sidebar :)

Michelle said...

What a meaningful home.

Bev said...

Wonderful...thanks for another place to visit in AZ!!

thelmaz said...

Fascinating. I love the windows.

Stopping by from the Challenge. Hope you'll visit back.

Signing up to follow.

Pat said...

What a fascinating place. and to build that with TB - arizona must be a healing place.
Mary looks a great gal.