Note: All my posts on the ’60s are gathered under “The ’60s,” above. Being a blog, these posts are in reverse order. If you want to read them from the beginning, scroll down. Chapter 1 is at the bottom, chapter 2 above that, etc.

Lloyd’s Podcast with TheTinyHouse.net

Play the podcast:

Intro & synopsis from the podcast page (www.thetinyhouse.net/lloyd-kahn), which also contains more images and videos:

Today my guest is Lloyd Kahn; and if you don’t recognize the name, you’ve probably seen one of his books. Lloyd published the seminal book, Shelter in 1973, documenting alternative housing ideas not limited to, but including, tiny houses, well before the current modern movement.

Lloyd has a lifelong fascination with shelter, and this conversation, we trace the steps of how an insurance broker in San Francisco built his own home and slowly transitioned to publishing internationally about Geodesic Domes, Tiny Houses, Mobile Houses, Driftwood Shelters and more. DIY building. While many thousands of the homes that Lloyd has documented over the years are small or tiny, he’s got a healthy amount of skepticism about the tiny home movement.

In this wide-ranging conversation, we talk about Lloyd’s books, his original influences of the counter culture of the 1960s, and how the concept of shelter has changed over the years.

In This Episode

  • How did Lloyd’s fascination with shelter begin?
  • Why Lloyd’s 1973 book Shelter is the most important of his work
  • Why Lloyd decided to pull his Dome Books off the shelves even though they were selling
  • Why Lloyd says that Builders of the Pacific Coast is Lloyd’s favorite book
  • Lloyd tells the story of meeting and building with Derek ‘Deek’ Diedricksen
  • Why Dome homes have fallen out of favor (and Lloyd is more than okay with that!)
  • How Lloyd got into publishing in the first place
  • What is causing the current fascination with tiny houses?
  • Lloyd’s advice for first-time DIY home builders
  • Lloyd’s two favorite houses of all times
  • Lloyd’s take on aging well (He’s 83!)
  • Lloyd’s new book coming soon: The Half-Acre Homestead (It sounds amazing!)

Links and Resources

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Log Cabin at Nepenthe, Big Sur

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Bedroom in log cabin at Nepenthe, the hilltop restaurant in Big Sur. The log cabin was open to the public for 3 hours on last Saturday.

This is the original building on the site, which was bought in 1944 by Orson Welles and his wife Rita Hayworth. They never returned, and when they got divorced in 1947, they sold the cabin and surrounding 12 acres to Bill and Lolly Fassett. The Fassetts then hired architect Rowan Maiden to design the restaurant.

I lived in Big Sur for three years in the ’60s and had never seen the cabin; nor did I know the background. The Fassetts still own Nepenthe, and Lolly’s granddaughter lives in the cabin.

Note: The roof sheathing is split (not sawn) old-growth redwood boards.

Despite all the years and the overcrowding of tourists on some days, it’s still a magical place.

Tip: You can avoid the pricey dinners by getting a draft beer and an “Ambrosiaburger” at the bar.

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Old Victorian House in Watsonville

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This old beauty along side Hwy. One in Watsonville, surrounded by 10 acres of organic strawberries and vegetables. Neglected, but the bones are still good. Called the Redman House, it:

“…was constructed in 1897 and designed by William H. Weeks, who was responsible for the design of hundreds of unique buildings throughout California. It was a classic Queen Anne — it featured a rounded corner tower with a turret, gables with meticulously carved panels, Palladian windows and dentil molding. The intricate detailing that Weeks designed for the exterior of the home could also was found inside — expensive and decorative wood, including eastern oak and bird’s eye maple, were used for doors, mantles, and window casings.”

-Wikipedia

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Surfer’s Journal Article

I’ve always enjoyed Surfer’s Journal. It’s a class act in the surfing world. The magazine was started by Steve and Debbee Pezman in 1992, and was completely different from other surfer magazines. Bi-monthly, with minimal advertising; supported by readers, not newsstand sales; great photos and production values; “more book than magazine.”

About six months ago, Steve Pezman and photographer Leo Hetzl spent three days with us, doing this interview and shooting photos. It’s a real honor. They gave me permission to make this PDF of the article. Check out the other articles in this issue: www.surfersjournal.com/current-issue

The PDF can be downloaded or viewed from here.

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Presentation with Jay Nelson at Mercado Sagrado in Big Sur

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I’m doing a joint presentation with Jay Nelson at the Mercado Sagrado Fair in Big Sur this Sunday June 9th, on nomadic vehicles — called Hit the Road, Jack.

Jay will show and talk about his many road vehicles (including this rig he designed for Patagonia).

I’ll show slides from Tiny Homes on the Move, and we’ll talk about homes on wheels.

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