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Home of the Week

Casa Verdugo, where time is standing still

A historic clock tower looms over an elegant Glendale villa dating from the early 1900s.

August 20, 2006|Gayle Pollard-Terry | Times Staff Writer

When multimillionaire John Brockman decided to build a country estate in 1910, he purchased 40 acres of orchards and 100 acres of mountain land in the Glendale foothills. He patterned his Casa Verdugo -- better known as the Clock Tower House -- after a castle on the Rhine River in his native Germany.

According to a Times article from 1914, the palatial home had one of the most unusual garages in the world. It included a four-story clock tower, a billiards room, a balcony overlooking an artificial lake and his herd of deer, sleeping quarters for his chauffeur, and space for three cars. The clock came from a property, located in Los Angeles' West Adams neighborhood, that Brockman donated to what was then called the Orthopedic Hospital for Crippled Children.

Brockman's own story is as interesting as his property's. Orphaned at 8, he immigrated to the U.S. to live with an aunt. During the Civil War, he enlisted in the Union Army and befriended Abraham Lincoln, according to the Glendale Historical Assn.

After the war, Brockman, like many adventurous men of his generation, headed to the West. A pioneer, he settled first in New Mexico, then Arizona, where he owned gold mines, and finally relocated to Los Angeles in 1890. He lived in the Glendale house until his death in 1925.

About this house: The Clock Tower House retains most of its original architectural features, such as quartersawed oak paneling on the first floor. The villa stands on nearly an acre of land with gardens and a koi pond. The clock tower, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, contains two apartments suitable for staff or guests.

Asking price: $4.2 million

Size: The residence, including a large basement suitable for a media room, gym or wine cellar, totals 7,450 square feet.

Features: There are six bedrooms, 5 1/2 bathrooms, four fireplaces, verandas and views of Glendale and downtown Los Angeles.

Where: Glendale

Listing agents: Rod and Maureen Bush, Landmark Realtors, (323) 933-3605.

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To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, send color interior and exterior photos on a CD with caption information and a detailed description of the house to Ruth Ryon, Real Estate Section, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Questions may be sent to homeoftheweek@latimes.com.

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