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River Rock Buildings in Need of Restoral


Some River Rock Buildings Have Seen Their Day

In the twenties and thirties of the 20th century river rock building was popular along the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California. One reason is at different times in the millennium, the water ran down the canyons in torrents, depositing rocks by the millions in alluvial fans and level plains beyond the foot of the mountains.

Along came settlers, artisans and new comers to get their place in the sun. As in all the newly settled places in the U.S. whatever was available was exploited or used to get a shelter made or a home constructed.

Old abandon or shuttered buildings have a creepy mystery hanging over them that makes a person wonder what is inside. Some people want to restore them, some want to just get rid of them and some people will certainly take pictures.

Here is my collection of dilapidated rock structures located a few blocks north of Route 66 along the San Gabriel Mountains.


River Rock Shuttered Building #1


This is at Towne and the 210 Freeway in Claremont, CA. It has since been cleaned up, fenced, and is offered for sale.


Shuttered Building Group #2 - River Rock Buildings


Image taken in Aug. 2009. The lot has remained this way since before 1984 when I moved into the area. In 2013 the lot was demolished for town homes. The house to the left was razed. I am so glad I have a few pictures of it.

Building Group #3


This property is marked sold. It has been empty since I located into the area in 1984.

The corner lot is big enough for commercial use and parking.

Video of Abandoned Stone House

As We Are Recovering From the Recession

Since the Great Recession and the slow recovery two of these properties have seen changes starting in 2013.

The Claremont Packing House has been restored and serves as retail space and part museum. One display of commendatory and pictures of the citrus heyday, talked about how the Hispanics were skilled in masonry and contributed to structures in the area, in the early 20th century.

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I wonder now much the masons south of the border contributed to the all rock structures pictured here.

© 2009 Sherry Venegas

Rock, Stone, Marble, Granite etc. - What a timeless medium.

Rose Jones on February 05, 2014:

I have visited this lens before, this time I am linking it to my Rock Garden lens and doing some bookmarked. We love our rocks!

Renee Dixon from Kentucky on February 03, 2014:

I love these houses, I've always wanted to live in one. I actually have a favorite stone house nearby that I used to look at everyday on the school bus on my way to school. I think they are beautiful, great lens!

mouse1996 lm on September 20, 2012:

These are beautiful houses. I would love one just like them.

Rose Jones on October 24, 2011:

I wonder why these houses were abandoned. They are beautiful and look sturdy. Maybe you will get something going!

anonymous on January 01, 2011:

Rock endures, just look to my ancestors, the Romans!

The beginning of what we now travel, highways,

was what the Romans built to keep and expand their empire.

Roman stone roads that are still being used today.

They have withstood the test of time.

Consider the Appian Way...the worlds first "super highway".

As structurally sound today as it was in its inception.

akrause2112 on December 11, 2010:

I love it and I am fascinated by urban ruin! You have been blessed by a Squid Angel!

khael on October 04, 2010:

This is a good resource for river rock building. Very helpful for miniature hobbyists and artists.

KimGiancaterino on June 21, 2010:

Oh, I would love to buy up and restore these old rock dwellings. They have so much charm. There are several houses in our neighborhood that are decorated with natural rocks like these, probably from the Arroyo Seco.

julieannbrady on June 06, 2010:

You know, I've got some great pictures of the dilapitated rock slave quarters from the Kingsley Plantation that we visited several weeks ago. I told my hubby that I wanted to walk the length of them, and feel the spirits there.

norma-holt on April 27, 2010:

This is a nice lens with great interest and unique subject.

Rose Jones on March 19, 2010:

You have a wonderful eye for beauty that many of us would miss. Thanks for the view!

anonymous on December 01, 2009:

I've featured this on my fan-club thank-you lens so - thank you!

ratso on September 18, 2009:

Great lens, These old stone structures are classics. 5 Star

Kerri Bee from Upstate, NY on August 31, 2009:

I love these stone buildings. So sad to see them not is use.

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