Cypress Park rail yard tower takes an 1,800-foot-long trip

Dayton Tower in transit Photo courtesy Adolfson & Peterson Construction

The two-story concrete Dayton Avenue Signal Tower was built more than 80 years ago to help direct traffic over the Taylor Yard, the Southern Pacific rail yard that sprawled along the L.A. River in Cypress Park.   Southern Pacific left Taylor Yard many years ago but Dayton Tower near Rio de Los Angeles State Park and a Metrolink maintenance center. But, late last month, the 23-foot high white and green signal tower was moved to about 1,800 feet to  new location on the property near San Fernando Road and Granada Street as an affordable housing complex takes shape on the property.

Adolfson & Peterson Construction, in a press release,  describes the tower’s history – it had been moved twice before – and what took place last month:

Dayton Tower was constructed in 1931 by the Southern Pacific Railroad, and for more than fifty years the 17′ x 23′ two story concrete tower controlled train movements in the busy network of tracks that converged and divided at the south end of Southern Pacific’s Taylor Yard Complex in Los Angeles. In later years it was moved north of the I-5 bridge where the interstate crosses both the railroads and Los Angeles River. In 1993 the Dayton Tower was moved to a flat site at San Fernando Road and Elm Street by American Heaving Moving. In order to preserve the tower and make way for the Rio Vista Apartments (Lot 1 of the Taylor Yard development), the tower was moved 1,800 feet to it’s permanent location by A&P on April 27, 2013. Coincidentally, 20 years after the last move, A&P contracted with the same firm, American Heavy Moving, to perform the work.

Dayton Tower will be preserved as part of the new housing and mixed-use development.

Dayton Tower plans/Courtesy Adolfson & Peterson


  1. What a great reuse of a really neat piece of architecture.

    • Totally agree. I am curious to find out what the “mixed-use” building that will house this structure will look like – how it will be incorporated into the modern structure.

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