Ayres Castle

Ayres Castle is the final house on John R. Kielbasa’s ‘Historic San Pedro Homes’ page that I had yet to discover. I don’t know who you are Mr. Kielbasa, but thank you for posting the information, it was like he left easter eggs for me all over town. It’s been a blast finding them and learning their wonderful histories. Here is the story on the Ayres Castle in Mr. Kielbasa’s own words.

“Ayres Castle was built in 1925 by Vern Ayres. It was inspired by the classic Scottish castle. Vern Ayres was a World War I veteran who flew biplanes during the war as a member of the Canadian Royal Flying Corps. He was an early stunt aviator and one the first Alaskan bush pilots. In the early 1920s he was a barn stormer and flew stunts with famous female wing walker, Miss Elfleda. Ayres married Miss Elfleda and they moved to San Pedro in 1925, where they built their castle on the highest peak on Peck Avenue with a spectacular view of the harbor and breakwater. Later, he flew Catalina Flying Boats to Catalina. William Wrigley and Cecil B. DeMille were frequent passengers. The Ayres Castle has been converted to a 6 unit apartment building. Small cannons adorn the center rampart of the castle”

I found this article on Mr. Ayres in a newspaper from Nebraska in 1958.


3 Responses

  1. I LOVE YOUR SITE! I actually grew up in a house just across the street from the “Castle” on 35th & Peck. Looking at your pictures has made me so homesick.

    • I’m so glad you’re enjoying my trek through town. The Ayres Castle is such a neat building, I wish I could have seen it in it’s heyday. Were any of the Ayres around when you were a kid?

      • Actually, I grew up in the castle. In the top penthouse to be precise. At the time, there were 2 lower levels which were being rented out as apartments. Another interesting little tidbit, in the lower left apartment lived actor David Gale along with his son. He wad the headless guy in the movie Reanimator. The castle looks a bit different now then it did when I was young. There used to be a rather large 2 level tower at the top left. The right most top adornment used to have a cone roof as well. I loved that place. So many interesting little passageways and hidden features.

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