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SEAL BEACH : Meal Is Over for Tower's Termites

January 31, 1995|RUSS LOAR

Even when your house is 87 feet above the ground, it's still not safe from termites.

Exterminators used a crane Monday morning to slowly lower a huge tent over the landmark Water Tower House, perched high above the beach on Anderson Street at Pacific Coast Highway.

"They were going to use a helicopter, but that was too expensive," said real estate agent Elgin Johnson. "Termites have no respect, nibbling on this historic house."

The 2,900-square-foot home has been on the market for about a year, according to Johnson, and is listed at $1.5 million. Johnson said she is in negotiations with a potential buyer for the 55-year-old reconverted Santa Fe Railroad water tower, now owned by a Long Beach bank.

The house has withstood a lot in its time. Johnson was a tenant there during last year's Northridge earthquake. But despite its resemblance to a large wooden tub on stilts, the house sustained no damage. "It just swayed with the earthquake," she said.

The tower held about 75,000 gallons of water before George Armstrong bought it from the city of Seal Beach in 1980. It took him four years to remodel it, fashioning a wood-paneled home with wall-to-wall aquariums. The house has changed owners several times. Johnson said the tent will be removed Wednesday morning.

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