Historical Landmark Status

THE LAST RESORT – Lagunitas has submitted an application to the Supervisor Steve Kinsey of the County of Marin to become a County Historic Landmark. If you would like to let Steve Kinsey know that you support this application, please contact Supervisor Kinsey here. To be notified when we have been granted official status, please join our mailing list.

John Torrey, a city planner from Lagunitas, generously donated his time and experience to prepare and submit the necessary documents. Thank you John!

Here is an excerpt from the application:

The property is a significant example of a twentieth century folk art environment. “I first visited the site in 2004 after three summer’s work restoring sacred sites in Tibet under the sponsorship of The Mountain Institute in Washington, DC. I was amazed and delighted to see a bit of the Himalaya so artfully and lovingly built in West Marin.”[1]

The 2-acre site in Lagunitas, a small hamlet in Marin County, has been developed by David Lee Hoffman into a series of handcrafted and interconnected masonry, stone and wood structures and open areas incorporating a residence, a tea ceremony room and storage , a lhakang (Tibetan shrine room), vegetable gardens, a gray water irrigation system, an outdoor fire pit, greenhouses, a godown and bell tower, a solarium, a well, a bread oven, and ancillary structures and spaces. The artistic value of the place has been recognized by architects, organizations, and the national media(New York Times and NBC News). A documentary film “All in This Tea” was produced which highlights the builder and his creation. The owner/builder has also incorporated elements of sustainable development into the property (gray water system among others).

David Lee Hoffman’s building complex, 40 years in the making, also coincided with Lagunitas’ development as a center of the 60’s counter-culture movement. Lagunitas was home to some of the era’s most famous rock bands – Janis Joplin’s Big Brother & the Holding Company, Country Joe & The Fish, and Quicksilver Messenger Service.

On a very personal level David confided to a friend recently that his daughter, Donna Thea, was embarrassed growing up in such an odd and unconventional environment and afraid to invite friends over. But once they came they begged to return to the Alice in Wonderland fantasy land.

[1] Sim Van der Ryn, former California State Architect.