ODDITY – The Late, Great, Tower of Pallets Monument

Even the National Enquirer was taken aback after the city of Los Angeles designated Daniel Van Meter’s Tower of Wooden Pallets a historical landmark. A photo spread of the Sherman Oaks structure was accompanied by a headline that said, “No kidding! This pile of junk is a historic monument!”

Robert Winter, a former member of the Cultural Heritage Commission, joked later that the 1978 vote might have been influenced by fumes emanating from the pallets, which were discards from a brewery.

“Maybe we were drunk,” said Winter, a prominent architectural historian. (SOURCE)

Photo Credit: BigOrangeLandmarks.comDaniel Van Meter began construction of the 22-foot-tall structure in 1951 using 2,000 wooden pallets tossed out by a local brewery. The slatted wood was stacked like bricks and placed in a circle with a radius of about 22 feet wide. According to Van Meter, the tower, his own personal sanctuary, was built around the grave of a child buried in 1869.

“I have a place where it is quiet, despite the apartments, the noise of the boulevard and the hum and screeches of the rat race on the freeway 200 feet away,” he said.

At night, Van Meter said, he climbs to the top of the tower and looks at the moon and the stars. “To me, this is a spiritual place.” (SOURCE)

The tower was bulldozed in 2006 and in January 2009 the 2.5 acre property was sold by Dan’s heirs for $4.5 million. Construction began almost immediately on a new apartment building in its place, just as Van Meter predicted almost forty years ago while lobbying for his tower’s landmark status:

“… in a few years this piece of the good earth may be covered by apartments for the storing of surplus people. In the meantime, pray, let this strange structure be, let it continue to be a haven of rest for an individual – that endangered species – who once knew how sweet was our Valley.” (SOURCE)

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6 Responses to “ODDITY – The Late, Great, Tower of Pallets Monument”

  1. tom says:

    now you know how the natives felt. a shame. a damn shame.. we need to stop development.

  2. Cyn says:

    What happened to the grave of the child buried there??

  3. LD says:

    Very interesting but I’m wondering about the grave too and where was this? The grave had been there since 1869 so how did Van Meter come to own it, who was the child? What/where are the apartments that took its place? Come on you have to include more research and answers when you decide to write fascinating pieces like this. Thanks

  4. Joe Dungan says:

    I was in the tower a few years ago for an essay I wrote for my book, “L.A. Nuts.” I happened to drive by it just as an official photographer was taking pictures of it before its eventual destruction, so the gate was open, and I wandered in. The thing was dirty and listing to one side, but still standing. Inside, I found no grave marker. Just dirt and a few empty bottles. But van Meter alleges that a child had been buried there. Since then, I’ve found no word on whether or not contractors found the body of a child.

    I took a bunch of my own pics that day; if anyone wants to see them, just private message me.

  5. BEGRUNT says:

    Ironically, there is a haunted house carnival going on at that location right now. Some of the carnival workers have experienced paranormal activity…..not surprising.

  6. chris says:

    I celebrated my 10th birthday there with my Mom and Dad and also shared our dinner with the celebration team from JJ Agajanian’s stock car race at the Pomona fairgrounds. It was Oct. 12, 1952. I remember Roy Maypole of KTTV was there. I had to kiss all the women. I also got a signed pit pass. They bought our dinner and Dad bought a round of drinks

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