Fire destroys Scotty’s Castle visitor center

The historic garage at Scotty’s Castle in Death Valley was destroyed by fire on Thursday, and a second building was damaged.

The fire was reported by construction workers who arrived Thursday morning at the park’s historic district. Its cause is under investigation, said a press release from Death Valley National Park.

Scotty’s Castle has been closed to visitors during work to repair damage from a 2015 flood. The main building was not damaged by the fire.

The garage, which had been used as a visitor center, was the building most heavily damaged by the October 2015 flash flood.

Scotty’s Castle was built in the 1920s as a vacation home for Albert and Bessie Johnson, millionaires from Chicago. It is named for Walter Scott, who lured them to the area with tales of a gold mine, which has never been found. He lived in the castle until his death in 1954.

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