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ast Corte Madera is a relatively recent Marsh State development in the 150-year suburbanization of Marin County. Prior to the Ecological Reserve postwar strip-mall/tract-house building boom that defines the neighborhood, Corte Madera in toto was the hilly, redwooded region to the west where loggers, farmers and cattlemen flourished for decades and artists attracted by the nice weather and lovely bay views settled in little bungalows on Christmas Tree Hill. Out toward San Francisco Bay was undeveloped marshland where generations of native Miwok had supplemented their venison-and-acorn diet with fresh seafood and C.H.P. the Larkspur steamboat stopped to load up on the town’s abundance of beef, lumber and produce on its San Clemente way to San Francisco. Dr Park Fire This idyllic existence ended with the country’s entrance Stn Par adis into World War II and the creation of Marinship, the e bustling 24/7 shipyard built on reclaimed marshland north Dr of Sausalito. Welders and riveters from around the country Paradise is San Clemente Creek, streamed into the area looking for a place to live, and new a tidal slough that was navigable Granada Skunk Hollow residential neighborhoods of tightly packed tract houses by pleasure craft until the surrounding Park Park sprang up overnight. After the war, thousands of returnmarshes were filled in 60 years ago. (In ing soldiers decided to settle here permanently, exponen- 101 honor, perhaps, of those long-ago seafartially increasing the region’s population base for always. ing days, nearby streets have names like Practically all of the Bay Area’s salt marshes east of 101 Ebbtide, Tradewinds and Seamast.) There and west of the Nimitz were filled and covered with are two parks here as well: the Bayside Trail, a linear housing and shopping centers to shelter and feed this park running along San Clemente Drive, and San Clestaggering influx of humanity, and by the time it was mente Park with its softball diamond, volleyball court and picnic all over, 95 percent of our wetlands had vanished. grounds. South of Paradise you’ll find more “yar, matey!” street names Today, East Corte Madera has a certain cachet distinct from like Privateer, Buccaneer and Golden Hinde and two pocket-sized its older municipal sibling across the highway. Bracketed by Ring municipal parks, Granada and the charmingly designated Skunk Mountain on the south, San Francisco Bay on the east, the VilHollow, plus the Audubon Society’s Triangle Marsh project and the lage shopping mall on the north and Highway 101 on the west, the wild splendor of 602-foot Ring Mountain. neighborhood is removed enough from the rest of the county to give The 45-year-old Paradise Shopping Center has gotten a new lease it a faraway, uncongested ambiance. Paradise Drive, the main drag, on life from star tenant Paradise Market, one of this tony county’s is the region’s dividing line. North of toniest resources for gourmet goodies. Nearby is the internationally renowned Terwilliger Nature Education Center, a tribute if ever there was one to the area’s restored shorebird-friendly wetlands. There’s lagoon living in the old ranch houses along San Clemente Creek, and winding streets and footpaths meander up Ring Mountain, rewarding hiker and homeowner with splendid views. Recently, Corte Madera has been mulling over a new general plan that would add 300 housing units to the town’s east side and allow the Village shopping mall to expand by another 185,000 square feet, presumably in the general direction of the surrounding wetlands. Isn’t this where we came in? —MATTHEW STAFFORD Hwy

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FIRE STATION 342 Tamalpais Dr. FI LIBRARY 707 Meadowsweet Dr. LI PA PARKS Corte Madera Town Park, Pixley Ave. & Redwood Ave.

lands were filled to make way East Cor te Madera’s marsh boom. post-World War II population

26 Pacific Sun - Marin’s Best Every Week

for the

PO POST OFFICE 7 Pixley Ave. PU PUBLIC SCHOOLS Neil Cummins Elementary, 58 Mohawk Ave.


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s with many places, the local coffee shop is often the best spot to sum up a town’s true flavor. But in Tiburon there is more than one and they couldn’t be more different. Right downtown on Main Street is Caffe Acri, which serves espresso drinks to a steady stream of cyclists, casually dressed executive-types working at their laptops and a well-heeled set of 30-somethings and their families on the weekends. Down the street in the Boardwalk 131 Shopping Center is Jeannie’s Java, a second home to old-timers and locals who come in to sip tea and enjoy fresh-baked pastries in overstuffed chairs surrounded by photos of the owner’s family. With its roots imbedded in the railroad industry, ferryboat making and dairy and cattle ranching, it’s no surprise this waterfront town with its world-class views of San Francisco has a rich and varied personality. These days Tiburon is known for Sam’s Anchor Café and cycling. Riding across the bay to enjoy a sunny afternoon at the ever-popular watering hole, which during Prohibition had a trap door to load booze in from small boats stationed outside the Golden Gate, is a popular weekend excursion for city dwellers. Sam Vella, an immigrant from Malta—described as a “restaurateur, barkeep, bootlegger and a scoundrel”—opened his eponymous restaurant/ saloon near the end of World War I. Whether it’s one too many of the café’s famous Ramos Fizzes, or an overdose of briny sea breezes, cycling visitors often forgo their ride home and hop aboard the Blue and Gold Fleet ferry for the six-mile trip back to San Francisco. The terminal is a stone’s throw from Sam’s. For those who complete their ride, the route home includes a scenic three-mile stretch (the Tiburon Historical Trail) that was once an easement bri

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for the railroad and now borders a 900-acre wildlife preserve and Audubon sanctuary. And not to be forgotten is the “jewel of San Francisco Bay,” Angel Island State Park, which is a 10-minute ferry ride from downtown. Tiburon offers much more than its “Ark Row” of upscale boutiques and art galleries. The early railroad and ship-building heritage is well preserved at the Railroad-Ferry Depot Museum in the Donahue Building on Paradise Drive. The museum features a working model of the Point Tiburon yard circa 1910. Thanks to the nonprofit Landmarks Society, several cherished landmarks have been preserved and are open to the public. Old St. Hilary’s is among the few remaining Carpenter Gothic churches to survive in its original setting. It overlooks downtown Tiburon and the San Francisco Bay. Landmarks Art & Garden Center is the oldest structure on the Tiburon Peninsula. The restored cottage, built around 1870, is representative of Tiburon’s housing during the farming-railroad era. Although the first settlers came in the early 1830s and the post office opened in 1884, Tiburon remained unincorporated until 1964. Perhaps because Tiburon depends on tourism for much of its revenue, there is a refreshing friendliness not commonly encountered in most Marin towns. Tiburon has its own International Film Festival in the spring and the town hosts its annual Wine Festival in May. Friday Nights on Main also begin in May and include plenty of eating, family gatherings and music on the downtown streets. Maybe it’s time for us Marinites to take a little excursion ourselves, just to see what Tiburon has to offer—and what our San Francisco neighbors seem to come back for almost every weekend.

photo by Ken Piek ny

—TANYA HENRY

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FIRE STATION - Tiburon Fire Protection District, 1679 Tiburon Blvd. FI LIBRARY - Belvedere-Tiburon Library, 1501 Tiburon Blvd. LI PA PARKS - Tiburon Uplands Nature Preserve, Paradise Dr.; Blackie's Pasture, Tiburon Blvd.; Paradise Beach Park, Paradise Dr. P P POST OFFICE - Belvedere-Tiburon Post Office, 6 Beach Rd.

The Sausalito waterfront is

known for

28 Pacific Sun - Marin’s Best Every Week

. its celebrated arts community

P PUBLIC SCHOOLS - Bel Aire Elementary School, 277 Karen Way; R Reed Elementary School, 1199 Tiburon Blvd.; Del Mar Middle S School, 105 Avenida Miraflores Ave.


Citizen Journalists Wanted! POST IT!

TOWNSQUARE Discuss Community Issues Announce an Event Report a Sports Score Ask for Advice Rate a Movie Review a Restaurant Be a Citizen Journalist

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Marineighborhoods 2008–2009 29


Belvedere That’s ‘beautiful view’ to you...

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vd elvedere. This on Bl T ib u r Fire Stn little island Post Office Library commands its Ferry Terminal dazzling vistas by the happy Pe ni ns ul a Rd d R expedient of being situated on i n d w a rd W in hilly waterfront terrain overlookCorinthian Island ing the profile of Mt. Tamalpais, the Rafae spires of San Francisco, regularly l Ave scheduled sunsets behind the Golden San Francisco Belvedere Pk Gate Bridge and one of the most Yacht Club W Golden Ga G te Av Ave es beautiful natural harbors in the world. tS ho Belvedere juts southwestward into Richre Rd Beach Rd Be ardson Bay from the much larger Tiburon peninsula, from which it is almost entirely B elv ede re A separated by a lagoon. ve Golden Ga Gate Ave Known in its earliest days as “The Pasture of Shark Point” (“Tiburon” is Spanish for “shark”), for 30 years the whole mile-by-half-mile island was the home of one Israel Kashow. He settled here in 1855, raising Australian sheep and Texas cattle, tending an orchard and an aviary of exotic birds and establishing a codfishery where 700 tons of seafood was Morgan and Golden Gate Park landscape architect John McLaren cured each year by 100 Chinese workers. Kashow lost ownership designed a glorious mishmash of Mission Revival mansions, Norof the island to attorney James C. Bolton in 1868, who won the man manor houses and Mediterranean villas. real estate on behalf of the heirs of John Reed, the Irish wayfarer The city of Belvedere was officially incorporated in 1896. By who had been granted the enormous Corte Madera del Presidio 1900 the island boasted 50 houses and one hotel, the Belvedere, a rancho from the Mexican government 30 years earlier. Bolton’s splendid 50-room expanse of tennis courts, panoramic verandas and fee: half of the land in question. Kashow, however, refused to leave a beach with imported sand. There was even a nine-hole golf course for 16 years, despite the efforts of President Andrew Johnson, who in the city’s uncharted northern reaches. Then Corinthian Island claimed Belvedere for the military in 1867, and Bolton’s successor was parceled and developed. Like Belvedere Island, in the pre-bayfill Thomas B. Valentine, who brought his case all the way to Washdays it was only accessible via sandspit, and then only at low tide. ington and in the process won 7,845 acres of Marin’s choicest real In 1888 the mariners of the Corinthian Yacht Club had chosen its estate, gloriously undeveloped. southern tip as their anchorage and gave the island its name into Valentine gave the island its evocative name, which means “beauthe bargain. Half of the island’s in Belvedere, half in Tiburon, and tiful view,” and helped create the Belvedere Land Company in 1890. for several years homeowners straddling the city limit paid two (preM.M. O’Shaughnessy, the engineer who had devised Mill Valley’s sumably hefty) tax bills. unique footpath-and-staircase setting, laid out the new town with Today’s Belvedere is as serene as it’s been since Israel Kashow was hill-hugging roads, stone walls and country lanes, then the slopes banished from paradise 122 years ago. Even more so. The Belvedere were terraced and subdivided, 3,500 trees were planted and the likes Hotel was supplanted by the sedate San Francisco Yacht Club in 1937. of Willis Polk, Julia The island’s two thriving codfisheries are less than a memory. Beach Road’s produce vendor, iceman and blacksmith have departed; there are no restaurants or shops to be patronized, although there are two churches, a city hall, a nursery school, a beautiful community playground and several real estate agents. What’s eternal are the wooded hills, the winding streets, the lush gardens, the pocket-sized parks, the positively Neapolitan ambiance. Nice views, too. —MATTHEW STAFFORD photo by Ken Piek ny

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FFIRE STATION Tiburon Fire Protection District, 1679 Tiburon Blvd. LLIBRARY Belvedere-Tiburon Library, 1501 Tiburon Blvd. PARKS Belvedere Park, San Rafael Ave. & Community Rd. P P POST OFFICE Belvedere-Tiburon Post Office, 6 Beach Rd.

Hotel in 1937. b supplanted the Belvedere The San Francisco Yacht Clu

30 Pacific Sun - Marin’s Best Every Week

P PUBLIC SCHOOLS Bel Aire Elementary School, 277 Karen Way; R Reed Elementary School, 1199 Tiburon Blvd.; Del Mar Middle S School, 105 Avenida Miraflores Ave.


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Marineighborhoods 2008–2009 31


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erhaps one of the reasons Strawberry isn’t on the radar for many of us is that it’s one of Marin’s toniest neighborhoods. Homes regularly sell for as much as $3 million. OK, you might find a few priced under a million behind the Strawberry Village Shopping Center, but by and large, real estate sales are fixed in the seven-figure range. A county-generated document for the Countywide Plan described Strawberry as a “community on the upper end of the housing price range of the county with severe limitations on housing for those of modest means.” This unincorporated area near the City of Mill Valley is outlined by Highway 101 to the west and Tiburon Boulevard to the north, with waterfront property on the Richardson Bay to the east and south. Most governmental functions reside with the County, but garbage and recycling are provided by the Strawberry Recreation District. It seems an ongoing struggle has been raging among neighbors in this small enclave (made up of a fair amount of waterfront property) who can’t agree whether to become an incorporated part of Tiburon, or remain associated with Mill Valley. Despite sometimes vocal Tiburon proponents, the neighborhood remains untethered from its sharky neighbor. Maybe it’s the spectacular views that have attracted harbor seals to the quiet and unspoiled coves the community offers. There was a time when the seals thrived and fished along the shores near Strawberry Point, but in the late ‘80s their numbers dwindled. Still, a number of Eastern Pacific harbor seals have made the northeastern tip of the Strawberry Peninsula a regular spot to lounge beachside. In an effort to protect the seals—along with other wildlife, including herons and egrets—strict building codes have been enforced. Fortunately for them, kayakers are permitted to share the area with these frolicking sea-goers. If we didn’t mention Strawberry Village Shopping Center—which seems to be the hub/meeting place for most residents—we would be remiss. Just as its developers—the Shelter Bay Retail Group— intended, “it is more than a shopping center—it’s a destination.” As many as 60 merchants survived more than a year of construction time spent renovating the nearly half-century-old center. The 18-acre mall reopened in the fall of 2006 with several spiffy new Pacifi c Sun Hom e & Gard en

restaurants, rent increases for the tenants and newly tree-lined pedestrian walkways. Garden retailer Smith & Hawken moved in. San Francisco restaurauteur Gordon Drysdale brought his Pizza Antica to Strawberry, and the upscale Woodland’s Pet Food and Treats caters to the neighborhood’s wealthy demographic. Even Harmony, a Chinese restaurant that offers city-caliber dim sum, has set up shop in the center. If ever the county begins to feel small, head east from Highway 101 out on to Tiburon Boulevard, and make a right on to Strawberry Drive. Discover (if only from your car) how the folks in Marin’s 3rd Supervisorial District live.—TANYA HENRY

photo by Ken Piek ny

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FIRE STATION Mill Valley Fire Department, 1 Hamilton Ln.; Southern Marin Fire Protection District, 308 Reed Blvd. LIBRARY Mill Valley Public Library, 375 Throckmorton Ave. PARKS Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary POST OFFICE Mill Valley Post Office, 751 E. Blithedale Ave.

destination.’ n a shopping center—it’s a Strawberry Village—more tha

32 Pacific Sun - Marin’s Best Every Week

PUBLIC SCHOOLS Tamalpais High School, 700 Miller Ave.; Mill V Valley Middle School, 425 Sycamore Ave.; Strawberry Point S School, 117 E. Strawberry Dr.


Pacifi c Sun Hom e & Gard en photo by Ken Piek ny

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Blithedale Canyon Towering redwoods and burbling brooks

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or nearly a century and a half, Blithedale Park Blithedale Summit Blithedale Canyon has been Open Space a favorite place to relax and Preserve replenish. Dominated by Corte Madera ca d Creek, it’s a redwood-perfumed place of dusty sunbeams, shingled cabins, blackberry bushes, bounding deer, stone walls, foggy e mornings, hidden staircases and the towering St presence of Sequoia sempervirens. (Also, bellowing bikers and SUVs, but you can’t have everything.) ve ge Blithedale and Cascade are the two canyons that make Mill Valley a valley. Cascade is lined with odb some of the grandest homes in town, but Blithedale’s Lov e ll historical sights and phantoms give it unique cachet. ad er a M Coastal Miwoks preceeded the conquistadores g r o n et e m e al m it who were supplanted by Mexican government officials. Two land grants bisected the southern Marin peninsula extending from Blithedale Canyon: John Reed’s 8,000-acre Rane cho Corte Madera del Presidio ran eastward from Corte Madera Creek to San Quentin down to Richardson Bay; William Richardson’s 19,000-acre Rancho Saucelito spread northward to Mt. Tam and westward from the creek to the ocean. ve Library In 1873, Dr. John Cushing built a sanitarium on 360 acres. The 131 new railroad line inspired his heirs to build the Blithedale Hotel on the premises. Named after Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel A Corte Madera Creek Blithedale Romance. Other retreats—the Abbey, the Eastland, the Redwood Lodge—followed. Meanwhile, 200 acres of Richardson’s old rancho were parBuilding booms followed the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge celed off, many to San Franciscans who built weekend cottages. and the end of WWII. Aside from the flood of 1982, not much Shortly after, tracks for the Mill Valley & Mt. Tamalpais Scenic has happened in the intervening years to disturb the placid nature. Railway were laid along and over Corte Madera Creek; the Lee Above all, it’s a fine place for a stroll. Start at 21 Corte Madera Ave., Street Local used the same tracks to shuttle commuters to and the starting point of the railway’s spur line from the old depot, and from the depot downtown. The Outdoor Art Club was founded head northwest into the canyon. On the right is the old Redwood in 1902 to (successfully) preserve Blithedale Park’s redwood Lodge with its low stone walls and manicured grounds; up on the grove from commercial development. left is a quasi-authentic Torii gate built by Japanese carpenters in The sleepy aura took a hit when the 1906 earthquake caused week1920. Many Japanese-style houses were built in the canyon in the enders to move into their vacation cottages. A fire in 1913 raged for early 1900s. Remnants of the Blithedale Hotel can be seen: the five days. A bigger blaze hit in July 1929, roaring downhill along the adobe milk house at 205 W. Blithedale, the crumbling stone dam creek and destroying 110 homes. constructed to create a swimming hole. Up the canyon on the railco be across the creek from Eldridge Ave. is the foundation of the Lee bed Street Local’s station platform. The Old Railroad Grade trailhead St is half h a block up, but there’s something about the silent redwoods an burbling creekbed of Blithedale Canyon that make you want to and stick sti around a while. —MATTHEW STAFFORD Av

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BLITHEDALE CANYON AT A GLANCE F FIRE STATION Mill Valley Fire Department, 1 Hamilton Ln.; Southern Marin Fire Protection District, 308 Reed Blvd. M LLIBRARY Mill Valley Public Library, 375 Throckmorton Ave. PARKS Blithedale Park, Blithedale Summit Open Space Preserve P P POST OFFICE Mill Valley Post Office, 751 E. Blithedale Ave.

ed for Joh Cor te Madera Avenue is nam o. sidi Cor te Madera del Pre

34 Pacific Sun - Marin’s Best Every Week

n Reed’s 8,000 acre Rancho

P PUBLIC SCHOOLS Tamalpais High School, 700 Miller Ave.; Mill V Valley Middle School, 425 Sycamore Ave.; Old Mill School, 352 TThrockmorton Ave.


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nly four miles past the Golden Gate Bridge and a seven-minute jaunt west of the Downtown Mill Valley exit rests the heart of the leafy, affluent and politically progressive community of Mill Valley—a city named by the national magazine, Money (and the CNN Money Web site), as the 10th best city in the nation to live. The magazine put it this way: “Dot-com millionaires and power couples in the fi lm and music industries are flocking to Th what long ago roc e was a hangout k m o r t o n Av for artists and re- O ld formed hippies.” Mi ll P Despite downtown’s k current high cost of living and frequently congested traffic conditions, the allure of this charming, mystical little part of town shows no signs of waning. Though the parameters of the downtown are loosely defi ned, the bulk of the action takes place toward the west end of E. Blithedale Avenue, up along Th rockmorton, all the way past Old Mill Park and the city’s well stocked library. There, within a radius of only a couple of miles, community members and out-of-towners can fi nd everything they need—from sophisticated shops and topnotch restaurants to theater, movies and live music. Among the downtown’s primary draws is the Depot Bookstore and Café (a former Greyhound bus depot), where locals turn for coffee-sipping and people watching in the town’s center, also known as Lytton Square. Amid an eclectic mix of young families, aging hippies and sportily clad cyclists, it is not unusual to spot a rock star now and then. (Mill Valley has been home to the likes of Maria Muldaur, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Weir and Sammy Hagar, among others.) Every October for almost 30 years, the downtown has been transformed by the nation-

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ally known Mill Valley Film Festival, which screens many of its movies at the historic Sequoia Theatre, at 25 Th rockmorton. As if that isn’t enough to put this town of almost 14,000 on the map, downtown Mill Valley is the starting point of the more than 100-year-old Dipsea footrace—a 7.1-mile course that starts along the 671 stairs through picturesque Old Mill Park and fi nishes at the bottom of steep trails in Stinson Beach. High-end clothing boutiques, pet and baby stores flank the town square and the perennially packed Mill Valley Market is a favorite for its upscale gourmet offerings and well-prepared deli items. Many of the neighborhood’s old-timers long for the days when downtown Mill Valley was a funky, artsy community sought out by folks who loved nature and wanted to be away from the hustle and bustle of urban living. With the influx of boomers and commuters, the town has become more suburban—yet it’s suburbia with a lingering bohemian sentiment ba still evident. st Whether it’s a good, strong cup of coffee, a grueling footrace up Tam or the opportunity to simply curl up in a comfortable chair at the library and take in some of the area’s most specch ta tacular vistas—you’ll fi nd it all in this quintessential Marin ne neighborhood. —TANYA HENRY

by Ken Pie kny

D O W N T O W N

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F FIRE STATION Mill Valley Fire Department, 1 Hamilton Ln.; Southern Marin Fire Protection District, 308 Reed Blvd. M LLIBRARY Mill Valley Public Library, 375 Throckmorton Ave. PARKS Boyle Park, 50 Thalia St.; Old Mill Park, 300 P TThrockmorton Ave. P POST OFFICE Mill Valley Post Office, 751 E. Blithedale Ave.

Downtown Mill

e busiest destina Valley is one of th

36 Pacific Sun - Marin’s Best Every Week

tions in all Marin.

P PUBLIC SCHOOLS Tamalpais High School, 700 Miller Ave.; Mill V Valley Middle School, 425 Sycamore Ave.; Old Mill School, 352 TThrockmorton Ave.


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The Depot CafĂŠ draws its name from the

Piekny

building’s long-ago life as Mill Valley’s cent

ral rail hub. Marin eighborhoods eighborhoods 2008 2008–2009 2009 37


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38 Pacific Sun - Marin’s Best Every Week

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iller Avenue is Mill Valley’s great civic entranceway. Like every portal thoroughfare from the Via Appia to Market Street, it escorts the visitor from point of arrival to the center of the action. Its four lanes of asphalt, concrete, cherry blossoms and usurped railbed link two intra-urban highways with the town’s tree-shaded hub; aspects of the town’s inclusive past sharing frontage space with its loft y status quo: a rambling, century-old high school, a storied saloon, supermarkets for patrician and proletariat alike, gas stations and fast-food joints, the town’s oldest business and some of its most venerable and beautiful homes. The Coast Miwok were the first inhabitants of the neighborhood, reveling in the climate and the abundant wildlife since about the time of the Magna Carta. One of their shellmounds was at present-day Locke and LaGoma streets, two blocks east of Miller, which was once, in those prebay-fi ll days, a point on the Richardson Bay shoreline. It was here that Irish immigrant John Reed built his adobe home in the 1830s. The wayfarer had recently acquired a phenomenal land grant from the Mexican government that encompassed the Tiburon peninsula, a substantial chunk of Corte Madera and half of Mill Valley—everything east of that aforementioned creekbed. Here Reed raised horses, sheep and cattle, operated a quarry and hosted the occasional rodeo, but his most famous enterprise was the sawmill he operated a few miles northwest in present-day Old Mill Park. The burgeoning, lumber-hungry city of San Francisco helped ensure the mill’s success, and to transport all of that harvested redwood across the bay, Reed’s laborers built a road from the shores of Cascade Creek to the train station at Almonte: the primal prototype for our own Miller Avenue. In 1892 the Mill Valley Lumber Company opened for business at 129 Miller, straddling the creek that defi nes the town and supplying the raw materials for most of the homes and businesses that cropped up hereabouts after the 1906 earthquake. As the town doubled in population, two new neighborhoods were developed on both sides of Miller: on the west Homestead Valley, an adamantly unincorporated region of sylvan glades, gullies and rolling hills, and on the east Tamalpais Park, with

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its unique midblock shortcuts for tardy commuters hurrying after the next train. After a century Miller Avenue was still the border between east and west, city and county, and the Brown Jug saloon at Miller and Montford advertised its prime location just outside Mill Valley and its midnight closing time by renaming itself the 2AM Club. It was also in 1940 that the train that gave Miller Avenue so much of its character closed up shop, a victim of the automobile’s new citywide dominance after the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. Plans have been bandied about to reconstruct this storied boulevard into a carefully designed showplace of upscale shops, multi-use housing, landscaped brickways and sheltered bike paths. Stay tuned. Despite the occasional canoe-friendly flood— its proximity to creek and reclaimed marshland has helped submerge the avenue during many a stormy season—Miller Avenue has survived Mill Valley’s every municipal upheaval and makeover to remain the town’s busiest, broadestminded thoroughfare. —MATTHEW STAFFORD

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G L A N C E

FIRE STATION Mill Valley Fire Department Main Station, 1 Hamilton Ln.; Southern Marin Fire Protection District Stations No. 4 & 9, 309 Poplar & 308 Reed Blvd. LIBRARY Mill Valley Public Library, 375 Throckmorton Ave. PARKS Bayfront Park, 425 Sycamore Ave.; Bothin Marsh Open Space Preserve; Molino Park, Molino Ave. & Janes St.; Sycamore Park, 4 Park Terrace POST OFFICE Mill Valley Post Office, 751 E. Blithedale Ave. PUBLIC SCHOOLS Tamalpais High School, 700 Miller Ave.; Mill Valley Middle School, 425 Sycamore Ave.; Park Elementary School, E. Blithedale Ave.


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Marineighborhoods 2008–2009 39


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Homestead Valley Where the mountain Emeets Marin d g e wo od

he first thing any good Homestead Valley citizen will tell you about this rustic, woodsy community is that it’s not a Mill Valley neighborhood. For a century now the city has been trying to maneuver this sea-breezed, sylvan, unincorporated acreage within its boundaries, but Homesteaders have clung to their independence. (Mill Valley did manage to usurp three blocks 60 years ago.) Folks here aren’t unfriendly; it’s just that the resolutely rural status quo has been good to this lovely enclave. om W i ld a r

Mill Valley founding father John Reed raised cattle here in the 1840s, and in 1857 Samuel Throckmorton acquired the land, converted it to dairy ranches and built a hunting lodge—at the intersection of Ethel and Montford avenues. (Homestead Valley hasn’t always been tranquil. There was the time the lodge’s cook murdered the ranch manager, buried the body, fled to Sausalito and was arrested and thrown in jail, where he hanged himself with his own underwear.) Throckmorton’s holdings were subdivided into lots and sold in 1890; the land was carved into parcels in 1903. The population increased dramatically after the 1906 earthquake. Cabins and manor houses alike sprang up, and a school opened at Edgewood Pk Janes and Montford in 1908. It was an idyllic time. City commuters went by electric train and ferryboat. One commuter, ad exec Fred Stolte, would invite fellow Ed M o li n o g e wood hucksters to his woodland grove for an annual “bull roast” comM Ave ill plete with sack races and horseshoes. Ritzier soirees were held at er Av Av e the Theuriet estate at Ferndale and Ridgewood, where, allegedly, Mon e d Av e Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin occasionally frolicked. L a Ver P an A During Prohibition residents unwound at the speakeasy A v e ora ve Ever gr m een Av e at Ethel and Montford or the dance hall at Linden and t Evergreen. The outside world encroached with the S d ee Depression and America’s entry into World d B l v kny Pie d War II. (A shameful aspect of wartime Ken by p to & Ga rdeenn pho me s t cifificc Sun Home Paaci was the internment of Harry OkaM bura, who had operated a poultry hi ll R d farm on Montford since 1909.) Gr n ve The old bohemian traditions if o fl ourished when Gary Snyder r nia e and Jack Kerouac occupied a (since-demolished) cabin above 370 Montford and threw a three-day wing-ding recounted in Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums. Fellow hipster Jon Hendricks bought a house on Ridgewood a decade later, and Sam Shepard was living on Evergreen when he won his Pulitzer Prize for The Buried Child. An annual Mozart concert kicked off at Fred Stolte’s beautiful glade, and flourished. An experiment in communal living blossomed at the edge of the GGNRA. er ighbors togeth ne s ing br A proposal for a freeway from the Golden Gate Bridge to West er nt Ce Valley Community Marin, fought by Homesteaders as long ago as 1920, was buried; The Homestead e. cc oquet and bo for swimming, cr residents also headed off a subdivision and paid dearly to create 80 acres of open space. Just what you’d expect from independent-mindThe boundaries are erratic. In the most general sense it’s the watered, nature-loving, community-spirited, free-thinking Arcadians. shed formed by Reed Creek, entered from the blocks of Miller Avenue Long may they wave. —MATTHEW STAFFORD between Reed and Montford and opening westward, ending at the coast range and the valley’s two enclosing ridges. Follow Montford as T A M V A L L E Y A T A G L A N C E it ascends and morphs into Molino and then Edgewood, then head south on Sequoia Valley Road and Panoramic Highway where the FIRE STATION Mill Valley Fire Department, 1 Hamilton Ln.; Southern Marin Fire Protection District, 308 Reed Blvd. GGNRA pokes up from the Headlands alongside Mt. Tamalpais State Park. At Four Corners take Highway 1 east along the ridge separating LIBRARY - Mill Valley Public Library, 375 Throckmorton Ave. Homestead from Tam Valley and make your way via California or PARKS Edgewood Park, Mt. Tamalpais State Park LaVerne or Morningsun or Reed to Miller. Four Corners is one of the lowest points along the coast range, and POST OFFICE Mill Valley Post Office, 751 E. Blithedale Ave. it’s said that the Miwok traversed it on visits to seaside tribal settlePUBLIC SCHOOLS Tamalpais High School, 700 Miller Ave.; Mill ments. Later, conquistadores chose the spot to make their way from the Valley Middle School, 425 Sycamore Ave.; Old Mill School, 352 Presidio to Bodega Bay, and later still it was where dairymen headed Throckmorton Ave. inland to bring their wares to market. Et

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www.pacificsun.com Marineighborhoods 2008–2009 41


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am Valley. Not sure exactly what it Open Space encompasses? You’re not the only one. Preserve Sh un as Often referred to interchangeably as gs t a Way Tam Junction, it’s a crossroads—a flyby spot, Nor ther where scenic route and freeway meet. Part n Av 1 e thoroughfare, commercial square and naS h oreli n e Hw y ture preserve, Tam Valley’s at odds with r A lt itself. It hasn’t always been this way. M ar in Mistakenly affiliated with Mill Valley, Ave ta its neighbor city to the north, Tam Valley is an unincorporated part of Marin. It’s a curious fit with the rest of the county. “The best way to put it,” e Wa ris y says longtime resident Judy Martin, “is that Mill E n t er r s e u R ichard Valley does not think of us as Mill Valley. We’re C o n co M n Rd a ri that place between them and Sausalito and Marin City.” To residents, Tam Valley “starts with the Dipsea C ar rer a Dr Cafe, goes until Rosemont and then up the road to the beach.” Bordered on the east by Almonte Boulevard and Tennessee Valley C ount y v Road, Shoreline Highway cuts through the middle. The main drag u r ant Wa y to Mt. Tam and the coast, Shoreline has come to define the area. hands over the Before it was a beeline to the beach, Tam Valley was a quiet years, but the neighplace. It was populated by horse stables, dairy farms and chicken borhood feeling and ranches; kids played in the streets. Today, cars roar past on Shore- familiarity is still alive. line, but it’s calm inside Scads of Things, Judy’s knickknack store, Before it became the main drag for one of the oldest buildings in Tam Valley. Years ago, it housed passing tourists, Tam Valley was a bit of the incubator for the T&M Hatchery. Now, hand-knitted scarves a salty backwater. Tam Valley became a stomping ground for tracdrape over shelves in the front where chickens used to be slaughtor drivers, veterans and hard drinkers; San Quentin employees, tered; it’s a near perfect juxtaposition for defining the old and electricians and bait-shop owners also made their homes there. new Tam Valley. Eventually, local boozing haunts like the Pastime were replaced As the community developed, the low cost of housing made by surf shops and ice cream stores, as the community set roots and it an ideal site for craftspeople. Judy says, “It used to be a place started families. where they could afford studios.” That has certainly changed The influence of the bay and the Pacific is felt in its architecture, over the years. Motorists whizzing by rarely stop at the modest as homes built by fishermen climb high into the hills. Down in the studio/storefronts. Poke around and you’ll fi nd a few—a ceraflats was the noir-ish Fireside Motel, the legendary stopover and mist, a cabinet shop and a gold exchange among them. Some unofficial entrance to the valley right off the highway. Derelict for things remain the same, though: The gas station, grocery store years, now it’s the site of a controversial new project—affordable and other service-oriented businesses may have changed housing for seniors and middle-income families. With a history of being betwixt and between, Tam Valley is still trying to find itself. Many insist they’re happy with change— but prefer it to be slow. Some environmentalists want to make it marshland. Developers have cutesy cafés and boutiques in mind. Some locals want to keep it just the way it is, imperfect and unimproved. With no consensus in sight, it may just stay as it’s always been—good. —LAUREL KELLNER Pacifificc Sun Hom e & Gard en

photo by Ken Piek ny

T A M

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F FIRE STATION - Mill Valley Fire Department, 1 Hamilton Ln.; Southern Marin Fire Protection District, 308 Reed Blvd. S LLIBRARY - Mill Valley Public Library, 375 Throckmorton Ave. PARKS - Bothin Marsh Open Space Preserve P POST OFFICE - Mill Valley Post Office, 751 E. Blithedale Ave. P

cream stores, Tam Valley With its sur f shops and ice Marin’s inland beach town.

42 Pacific Sun - Marin’s Best Every Week

has become

PUBLIC SCHOOLS - Tamalpais High School, 700 Miller Ave.; Mill P Valley Middle School, 425 Sycamore Ave.; Tam Valley School, V 3350 Beel Ln.


PaciďŹ c Sun Hom e & Gard en

We’ve Moved 803 Bridgeway





photo by Ken Piek ny

Tam Valley residents can relax along the banks of Corte Madera Creek as it rolls its way toward Richardson Bay.

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“Simple Real Estate Solutions. Simply Excellent Service.â€? I am proud to call Tam Valley home for almost a decade. What I love most about Tam Valley is the community. I am grateful for the opportunity to bring Tam Valley residents together by sponsoring community events such as Creekside Fridays, TamFest and the upcoming Holiday event. Who’s the next person you know who wants to join our community? Invest? Buy a ďŹ rst home? OR move into larger, more spacious home? Please show them this ad and when they contact me they will get the most accurate and current information.

Amy Glaser

415.464.3330 Amy@SweetHomeMarin.com www.SweetHomeMarin.com

Marineighborhoods 2008–2009 43


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Marin City From World War II to the modern world r ke

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George Graham Pk Buc ke In 1980, Fire Stn residents Library organized the Dr p i Marin City ill Ball Pk Ph Community Development Corporation, St purchasing the co e remaining 42 acres of h undeveloped St t Eu r e ka property— d lo Wa where a windswept flea market took place every C o le Dr weekend for over a decade—for a $110 million housing/retail development. The new housing adjoins the Gateway shopping complex, where locals get first refusal of most job opportunities. The population has risen above 3,000 in recent years, and several community assistance programs help residents improve their way of life. But problems remain. Violence and drug abuse continue. The job opportunities offer generally low wages, and even the “below-market-value” housing is beyond the reach of many. The African-American population dropped from 58 percent in 1990 to 39 percent in 2000 while the white population grew to 33 percent and the threat grew of Marin City’s heritage being gentrified out of existence. But the new Marin City also has the Manzanita Recreation Center, sports facilities, a community garden, a childcare center, parks and ponds and new roads and six churches. And there are plans for a new Marin City Center encompassing teen and senior centers, recording and broadcasting studios, classrooms, a gym, swimming facilities, a dance studio, an amphitheater, a game room, retail development and new housing. This proud, troubled, vibrant community, in other words, is reinventing itself once again. —MATTHEW STAFFORD

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riginally this grassy gully between Sausalito and Tam Valley was farmland. But when the U.S. entered WWII, northern Sausalito marshland was used to create a shipyard where a fleet of “Liberty ships” and tankers could be built. Over the next threeand-a-half years, 20,000 workers toiled 24/7, building 93 vessels. To assemble the vessels, a draft-depleted workforce was recruited—many were African-Americans from the Midwest and the South. Women, like their black, Asian and Latino colleagues, were paid $1.20 per hour, same as the white men they worked alongside. Marinship was the best-integrated shipyard in the West. With wartime housing scarce, a makeshift community was fashioned on 356 acres. In just over three months, 700 apartments and dormitories for 1,000 singles covered the valley, with 800 detached homes built into the hills. The community grew to 6,000 by Christmas 1943. In practically every respect, the community was a success. There was a newspaper, an elected city council, a post office, a library, schools, a grocery store, a barbershop and beauty salon, a hospital, a laundry and a drugstore. All was not idyllic, however. Simmering endemic racism reared its head on occasion. There was a teen gang problem and the unpaved streets and sidewalks flooded and filled with mud at the first drop of rain. As the war drew to a close, Marin City’s population was cut in half. The population dropped to 1,300 in 1970 as unemployment rose. Community development and revitalization ceased for three decades as the county’s housing revenues soared. Two decades of systematic racism were taking their toll (Marin City was now 90 percent black—the rest of the county was 1 percent black), and the community felt more segregated and disenfranchised than ever. There was arson and vandalism. Gunfire wasn’t a rare occurrence, and a night of firebombs and sniper fire erupted in the summer of 1967. Black Panthers Eldridge Cleaver and Stokely Carmichael told residents to defend themselves, by violence if necessary. But this very sense of isolation served to unite the community. There were rallies and picnics and a flourishing street life, and the local citizenry included Beat poet Lew Welch, Tam High student Tupac Shakur and the great bossa nova guitarist Bola Sete.

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FFIRE STATION Marin City Fire Station, 850 Drake Ave. LLIBRARY Marin City Library, 164 Donahue St. PARKS George Graham Park, 100 Drake Ave. P

vide striking views The Marin Cit y hills pro

44 Pacific Sun - Marin’s Best Every Week

of the bay.

POST OFFICE Sausalito Post Office, 150 Harbor Dr. P P PUBLIC SCHOOLS Martin Luther King Jr. Academy, 610 Drake Ave.


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“Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun, I’ ll be sittin’ when the evenin’ comes. Watchin’ the ships roll in, and then I watch ’em roll away again...” —Otis Redding

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h resh off his soulful showing at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967, Otis Redding sat on a houseboat at WalBay do Point Marina in Sausalito and scribbled Model the immortal lines to “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay.” Redding is gone but the song, and the dock that inspired it, remain.The waterfront is Sausalito’s salty underbelly as it has been throughout its history. During Marin’s turn-of-the-century growth spurt, Sausalito served as the primary port of entry for commuters. Decades later Golden Gate Bridge construction brought increased development, but it wasn’t until World War II that the town’s character was cemented. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the government identified Sausalito as an ideal spot for an emergency shipyard location—Bechtel moved in, and soon hulking steel craft were sliding down Marinship’s launch ways. Thousands of laborers were brought in to work on the Liberty ships and tankers, causing a population explosion. After the war ended, things quieted down again, but the infrastructure remained. In the ’60s and ’70s, the houseboat community became a haven for artists and bohemian types looking to escape the rat race. (Others were simply looking to escape: Members of the FBI-wanted Weather Underground holed up on the waterfront in the mid-’70s.) Film star, writer and sailor Sterling Hayden, among other famous folk, served for a time as part of that inimitable littoral confederacy. As was often the case, the countercultural off-the-grid boat dwellers regularly found themselves running afoul of local laws. The freewheeling idealism of the day is perhaps best exemplified in the title of a homemade documentary shot at the height of the waterfront’s cultural clash—The Last Free Ride. Today, a few docks have retained their bohemian flair, but the waterfront is calmer, fi lled with rows of floating homes, ranging from diminutive wooden craft to palatial domiciles. Some are occupied by full-time by legal residents; others serve as pleasure craft, art studios or vacation getaways. One constant is the waterfront’s thriving coalition of artisans. Another waterfront fi xture is the Bay Model Visitor Center, an educational facility run by the Army Corps of Engineers, off of Marinship Way. While most of the waterfront is developed, one significant blip of green exists—Dunip

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phy Park. Adorned with Fire Stn a stately white gazebo and benches overlooking the water, it’s a favorite gathering place. Scattered among the docks and shipyards are also a few businesses including a handful of bait shops, boat supply stores and a kayak excursion outfit located at Schoonmaker Point. Asked to sum up what it means to live on the waterfront, even some of the saltiest locals come up short. One resident, who was there for the upheaval of the ’60s and ’70s, is back, living the quiet existence of a happily starving artist. “It’s one of those places,” he says, peering out over the placid, shimmering water from the prow of his brightly painted vessel. “You leave, but it never leaves you.” —JACOB SHAFER W A T E R F R O N T

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FIRE STATION Sausalito Fire Department, 333 Johnson St. LIBRARY Sausalito Library, 420 Litho St. PARKS Dunphy Park, 1600 Bridgeway POST OFFICE Sausalito Post Office, 150 Harbor Dr. PUBLIC SCHOOLS Bayside Elementary/Willow Creek Academy, 630 Nevada St. Marineighborhoods 2008–2009 45


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landlords want to cash in at the cost of Caledonia’s character. But residents revere their local establishments. Smitty’s must be the homiest bar in town. And Waterstreet Hardware is the city’s last-standing fi x-it shop. That’s something to celebrate, and sunny Caledonia is perfect for parties. Protected from the fog of the Golden Gate, it’s the site of the spring street fair and the city’s main parade route. Chamarita, the annual Portuguese celebration, includes a grand procession with marching bands and a queen, in recognition of the bounty of food that Queen Isabella once gave a group of starving Portuguese travelers. One of the most influential groups in the city’s history, the Portuguese left several halls and the festival as a legacy before many went north for more land. The original inhabitants weren’t the Portuguese. Around 1920, Sonoma State University archaeologists uncovered evidence of earlier Miwok habitation. Much of Caledonia heritage is buried or behind facades, including its remaining echoes of WWII. In the ‘40s, dock workers flooded Sausalito to build warships. Many homeowners crafted in-law units to accommodate them. Still there weren’t enough rooms. Thousands of men worked around the clock. With housing scarce, they needed something to do—and thus Caledonia got a cinema, which continues showing movies today. The end of the war brought a sleepy feel back to the street. “After the war it was a spot where the neighborhood kids gathered in the sand pit behind the fire department,” one resident remembers. “Everyone knew each other and ran through the hills. They took kayaks out on the water whether their moms knew it or not.” That’s Sausalito’s soul, which locals strive to protect. —LAUREL KELLNER

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ucked just above Bridgeway between Napa and Johnson streets, Caledonia Street is not far from the San Francisco ferry drop-off. Still, it remains a well-kept secret compared with Bridgeway, its tourist-haven counterpart to the north. Out-of-towners on a straight shot to the waterfront walk right by, missing what most residents consider the soul of Sausalito. Hidden here are the essentials—a bookstore, a gourmet grocer, ethnic restaurants, fitness centers, art galleries, antiques, a theater, a park, even a neighborhood bar—run for years by the same family. City Hall sits at one end, the fire station at the other. A few spots draw folks from around Marin—like the Michelin Guide-listed Sushi Ran—but most cater to Caledonians. Longtime resident Vicki Nichols says, “You can get around without a car. I can hear the foot traffic—the moms and the nannies coming down the street. That really sets the tone, the community feel.” Caledonia Street developed along a different track from the rest of Sausalito. In the late-19th century, developers bought a ferry to bring in settlers from San Francisco. The wealthy built mansions in the hills at the southern end of the city. At the other end of town, the working class populated the mudflats. Land was divided up from William Richardson’s old Rancho del Sausalito. Many lots sold in the 1880s were small, but that wasn’t the case on Caledonia. With the dairies up in the hills, the lowland remained undeveloped. On these mid-sized plots, builders, dairy hands and railroad workers formed a community. A welcoming, residential feel grew, new businesses sprang up and “New Town” Sausalito developed. Back then, Caledonia was Sausalito’s main street. A few buildings from that era remain, including the ice house, now Sausalito’s visitor center. The oldest remaining house is the Bower, at Caledonia and Turney. Dating from 1869, the historic facade has been preserved by current resident and owner Mary Griffin. The hardware store, too, has survived the years with a number of different lives. The biggest threat to the neighborhood is creeping commercial development. Chains bring money. Some

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FFIRE STATION Sausalito Fire Department, 333 Johnson St. LLIBRARY Sausalito Library, 420 Litho St. P PARKS Robin Sweeny Park, Caledonia & Litho St. P POST OFFICE Sausalito Post Office, 150 Harbor Dr.

think of whe Caledonia is what the locals

46 Pacific Sun - Marin’s Best Every Week

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P PUBLIC SCHOOLS Bayside Elementary/Willow Creek Academy, 6630 Nevada St.


Pacifi c Sun Home & Garden photo by Ken Piekny

Sausalito residents’ thirst for knowledg e can be quenched at the library on Litho Street.

Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Road Sausalito, CA 94965 (415) 339-3900 www.BayKidsMuseum.org

The Only One of Its Kindʈ˜Ê̅iÊ7œÀ`tÊ Kind The Bay Model Visitor Center is a working hydraulic model of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta System. The model provides scientists, educators and citizens interested in San Francisco Bay and Bay-Delta Model a unique opportunity to view the complete bay-delta system at a glance. Learn about the SF Bay, water related issues and the history of the Bay Model. Group tours available! See our Web site www.spn.usace.army.mil/bmvc for more information. Our programs are fun for the whole family!

Bay Model Visitor Center

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n a clear day from many places on the Bridgeway thorFire Stn oughfare, there’s a straight shot view of the city’s iconic skyline—with eastern views to Angel Island and Alcatraz. as you walk, run or stroll along the bay on Bridgeway, it beB u l k l ey comes clear that it’s a place for locals, visitors and day-trippers alike. Gabrielson Pk Cozy cafés, knickknack stores, art galleries, swanky boutiques and a V in l Sausalito Yacht Club exquisite restaurants line the route once intended to be a freeway e D r M a za that connected with the Golden Gate Bridge. Fortunately, Pla Sausalito Ferry Terminal Bridgeway remains a 2.5-mile stretch of shoreline road, leading traffic through a pedestrian’s paradise of culture and recreation. Yee Tock Chee Pk Sausalito has been a desirable place to live since the days of its Princess St ve original inhabitants, the Costal Miwoks. Explorers and traders from Spain and Mexico successively snuffed out the Native American influence by the 1850s. The allure for those conquistadors was sheltered inlets, abundant natural resources and ideal climate. By 1868, Gold Rush miners discovered Sausalito—or, as it was known then, Saucelito—. According to the Sausalito Historical Society, 19 savvy businessmen bought the land from English settler William Richardson and began a ferrying business. The Land & Ferry homes along Company was slow to turn a profit until 1871, when a deal was the banks of the Tiffany Park struck with the North Pacific Railroad—. Rail brought diversity bay. Architecture —attracting Portuguese, Germans, Chinese, Italians, Greeks and along Bridgeway reflects others. Wealthy San Franciscans built summer homes in the hills its rich history, from Gold (known as the Banana Belt for its "tropical" climate) and became Rush, to ornate Victorian, known as "the codfish aristocracy." Workers, known as the "silurito hints of Italian and Portuguese influence. Plaza Vina del Mar ans," and artists lived along the shoreline. Perhaps Bridgeway's most stands on the northern end of Bridgeway with its elegant fountain renowned resident was Sally Stanford, who made her way across and tall flagpoles donated by the town's Chilean sister city, Vina the bay in the late-1940s, bringing, as Doris Berdahl of the town's del Mar. Slightly further north, one comes across the historic visitor center puts it, "both controversy and unity to Sausalito." Casa Madrona Hotel. There is also a small residential section of Stanford was a 5 foot tall, flamboyantly dressed "madam" who ran Bridgeway where homes go for a million or more. Sausalito's main a well-known bordello in San Francisco. Stanford opened up the corridor has managed to maintain much of its neighborhood feel. Valhalla restaurant—where Gaylord India Restaurant now stands. Community events bring entertainment and diversity to the town. Later, she decided to run for mayor and after five failed bids, was From May to August, residents flock to Gabrielson Park Friday finally elected in her sixth try. Stanford was not the only famous evenings for Jazz & Blues by the Bay, free outdoor concerts where face to come to Sausalito. Children's author Shel Silverstein, author families and friends come together to picnic, sip wine and soak up Jack London, publisher William Randolph Hearst and writer the good vibes. The Sausalito Art Festival, which draws thousands Evan Connell also had of artists and collectors each year, is held each Labor Day weekend in Marinship Park. Bridgeway is a tourist attraction—and justly so,—but any local will tell you that the neighborhood is their own. "In the morning, Bridgeway is for the townspeople," says Susan Forrest, local teacher and longtime resident. "It is a place for people of the community to meet and catch up." In the early morning hours and in the fading light of dusk, Sausalitans sit back and admire the panoramic views, knowing that they are right at home. S

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—KARA MADDALENA

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FIRE STATION Sausalito Fire Department, 333 Johnson St. LIBRARY Sausalito Library, 420 Litho St. PARKS Vina Del Mar Plaza, Bridgeway & Anchor St.; Gabrielson Park, Anchor St. POST OFFICE Sausalito Post Office, 150 Harbor Dr.

The fountain plaza was Vina del mar.

sister city, donated by Sausalito’s Chilean

PUBLIC SCHOOLS Bayside Elementary/Willow Creek Academy, 630 Nevada St. Marineighborhoods 2008–2009 49


Why Build Green? GREEN: The New Builder Quality How does one property stand out from the large inventory of other properties on the market? How can any property’s resale value be improved in today’s market? How can long-term property owners plan for the futures continually escalating energy prices with no end in sight? Green design and construction increase a buildings value and decreases the costs of ownership. Green is in and this trend is not going to go away. From Wired magazine, to Elle, to Vanity Fair, the topic so popular a Google search yields more than 15 million hits. Green buildings are designed and constructed to the highest environmental standards. They minimize energy and water usage, as well as reduce the impact on climate change. They are constructed to be cost-effective through their entire lifetime and sufficiently flexible to meet the needs of future generations. They are also designed to not compromise the health of the environment or the health and well being of the buildings occupants, its builders, the general public or future generations. Green structures are better for human wellness and the environment, without costing more than traditional construction. It is a common misconception green buildings cost more. The greenest commercial buildings constructed in recent years have even cost less than their counterparts, with most coming in about the same price or at less than five percent higher. This doesn’t event take into consideration the energy savings. Figures from recent case studies of certified California green buildings by the U.S. Green Building Council found an average of:

30% Energy Savings 20-50% Water Use Savings 50-90% Waste cost savings In considering these figures, the question becomes “What it will cost you NOT to build green?” Is a zero to five percent premium yielding lower energy and maintenance costs over time worth it? Property owners electing to save a little bit of money now by ignoring available green options could be throwing away

15 million + google hits for green con

money for years to come, as well as decreasing the marketability and value of their property for future buyers. California has a myriad of state and local incentives, rebates and programs available for green building and retrofits. However, the window for property owners to stand out as green leaders and reap some of these rewards is closing quickly. Most Bay Area counties have already issued green building mandates and ordinances requiring new buildings to be certified or equivalent under the USGBC’s LEED system, or the Green Point Rated System. Legislation on the requirements for existing buildings will be coming soon. As of 2011, the state will adopt a Green Building Code as well. Because buildings are responsible for 60 percent of GHG emissions globally, by improving them significant headway can be made towards mitigating climate change. Moreover, today’s incentives of may become unrewarded standards of practice in the near future. In the not so distant future, non-green buildings will become obsolete because they waste high volumes of money and limited resources and operate at a high cost to the environment. If building a NEW HOME or commercial building, or embarking on a significant remodel, consider having it certified as green through LEED or Green Point rating systems. When it comes time to sell, certification will provide buyers interested in green benefits assurance they are getting what they paid for..

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