Atalaya mansion in South Carolina included running water throughout the 40,000 square-foot 55-room home in 1933.
Atalaya, Spanish for "watchtower", was built in 1931-33 by William Thomson. Thomson took verbal instructions on how and what to build from Atalaya's designer and owner, Archer Huntington. The unique engineering feature of Atalaya is its water system. This engineering achievement was way before its time. The system consists of Artesian well water pumped into a 10,000-gallon cistern, where the sand was allowed to settle out. From there, the water is pumped into a 3,000-gallon tank in a 40-foot high tower. This height created enough pressure to provide running water throughout the 55-room home.