The Landmarks Art & Garden Center

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Historic Cottage in Garden Setting

Drivers who stream along Richardson Bay on the commute to and from Tiburon have a wonderful panoramic bay view, which sweeps from Sausalito to Strawberry Point and Mt. Tamalpais. A beautiful new addition to that view is the Landmarks Art and Garden Center, a lovingly renovated house and property from Tiburon’s earliest years, that is now a superb setting for weddings and special events.

Once you reach this facility, you’re enveloped in another world and sensibility. As you pass the deep green expanse of lawn on your way in, you can picture having your ceremony on it, or perhaps joining your guests for an old-fashioned game of croquet.

The square-acre site, with its commanding vista of Richardson Bay, is a garden composed of four terraces, with the house nestled to one side and a rose arbor on the other. The terraces are joined by curving brick walkways and ascend a gentle hillside in the following order: a lush lawn, a bricked area, an oval terrace, and a belvedere at the top. Each of these lovely outdoor spaces—all of which have an extensive view of the water and southern Marin’s steep hills—works extremely well as a site for a ceremony or reception.

The Center had been untended and overgrown until a landscape architect and a brigade of green-thumbed volunteers descended on it in 2000. Original redwoods, oaks, elms, walnut and fruit trees, and blooming hedges are now augmented by new plantings of crabapples, weeping cherries, Japanese maples, and colorful beds of azaleas, camellias, roses, lilacs and seasonal flowers.

Birds love the improvements—you can hear them chirping everywhere. Halfway up the hillside is a touch of whimsy, an old ocher and green pagoda-shaped birdhouse from the Victorian era appropriately called a “folly.” A cool, shady grove of redwoods behind the house has branches that shelter three loveseat-sized benches.

The other star of the Center is the restored farm house, built in the 1870s and once part of a working-class neighborhood in the days when Tiburon was a railroad terminal. The cottage, clad in gray shingles with rough cedar shakes on the roof, features a sun-filled living room that opens to the original kitchen and adjoining sitting area. A small wedding or reception would fit nicely here, surrounded by the rough-hewn charm of the meticulously restored walls and floors. (The walls are a permanent art gallery, featuring exhibitions of paintings by local artists that change through the year.) Just outside the kitchen door, there’s a handsomely refurbished farmyard bell that newlyweds’ friends often toll in celebration—another one of the old-fashioned touches that contribute to this facility’s welcoming atmosphere.

If your imagination has been taking you to a quiet, sunny spot with abundant greenery and scenery, you’ll undoubtedly experience a pleasing sense of deja vu when you actually set foot in the Landmarks Art and Garden Center.

  • Venue Rental Fee (Saturday peak season): $4,000
  • Rental Fee Includes: Venue meeting and management
  • Catering: Choose from List
  • Capacity for a Seated Dinner: Up to 150 on lawn, Up to 55 inside the cottage

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