Back when I was a kid, one of my parents’ favorite spots was the Sonoma coast, and I remember family trips that included stops at The Sea Ranch. I always liked the rustic, but contemporary homes that seemed to blend in with the surroundings. I also was fascinated by The Sea Ranch Chapel – which I thought had been designed by Dr. Seuss (it was actually designed by James Hubbell).
I now know that Sea Ranch is famous and had moments of controversy. It was the vision of architect/developer Al Boeke and the result of some very mindful planning by a group of Mid-Century architects Joseph Esherick, Donlyn Lyndon, Richard Whitaker, William Turnbull, Charles Moore, and landscape architect Lawrence Halprin. I have also learned that Sea Ranch is a quintessential example of the Third Bay Tradition, an architectural style described as a “hybrid of modern and vernacular styles” – which is a fancy way to say it is both rustic and contemporary.
At any rate, Sea Ranch is currently celebrating its 50th birthday with a yearlong party that began Memorial Day Weekend 2014 and will continue through Memorial Day Weekend 2015 with a series of private and public events. The public party will include BBQs, ongoing walking tours along the public trails, musical events, and a series of forums about Sea Ranch and the surrounding area. The private celebrations (for residents, renters, and invited guests) offer ongoing “get to know your neighbors” bingo nights, film nights, potlucks, tennis tournaments, and equestrian events.
If you love the rugged beauty of the northern California coastline and modern architecture, come to Sea Ranch and help celebrate its 50th. Once you’re there, you just might be tempted to stay.
Logo: The Sea Ranch