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LAistory: The Tower of Wooden Pallets

Department of City Planning
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We live in a city filled with thousands of landmarks, but whether it's just our proclivity for changing courses like our capricious weather patterns, or it's a matter of life imitating the kind of art that put us on the map, even when we call something a "landmark" it doesn't mean it's even here anymore. Or, really, that it even makes sense. Such is the case with one of the most unusual landmarks to spring up in the city, the Tower of Wooden Pallets that accidentally became art, then a landmark, then--to most--just a memory.A quirky piece of local history so frequently begins with a quirky character, and LA's Historic Cultural Monument #184 is no exception. It begins with Daniel Van Meter, son of James, the "chemist who invented the chloro-cyanic gas used in World War 1, to hilarious effect," explains Big Orange Landmarks.

Along with his brothers, Daniel spent some time running a ranch on West Adams Boulevard and raising goats, chickens, and rabbits there. He had affiliations with controversial political organizations, like Robert Noble and Ellis O. Jones’s “Friends of Progress," who were rumored to be in favor of overthrowing the American government and to have ties to the pro-Nazi German American Bund. Daniel served some time in San Quentin for his political "sins" and eventually "went on to co-found the American Independent Party in the 1960s."