Falkirk Cultural Center - San Rafael (Marin)
Their weekday rental fee is very reasonable. Plan your next gathering here and surprise everyone, including yourself!
History of Falkirk
The house was once the home of Captain Robert Dollar, who named it Falkirk after his birthplace in Scotland. The structure was saved from demolition in 1974, listed on the National Historic Register and now owned and operated by the city of San Rafael as a Cultural Center and a venue for private events.
Sunnyside Conservatory - San Francisco
The gardens's menagerie is comprised of 23 fantastical and elegant bronze creatures that decorate the space so well and to some, hint at the possibility of still unknown worlds! Altogether, this is an extraordinary location for a small celebration.
Rental fee includes the use of 70 wooden-padded chairs, and an assortment of round and rectangular tables. There is no kitchen on site, but there is a special space with a kitchen sink designated for final food prep.
History of the Sunnyside Conservatory
English inventor and stargazer William Augustus Merralls originally built the Conservatory in 1898 on his estate, then a remote part of the city. Over time, the Conservatory passed from private to public hands, and despite its city landmark status, the site ended up in need of vast stewardship.
The large trees and overgrown bushes covered the structure, but in 1999 a few neighborhood residents discovered the Conservatory, having that Alice-in-Wonderland feeling of entering another world. They decided to organize and advocate for the renovation of the Conservatory. Ten years later, after a $4.2 million renovation project, the building and grounds re-opened as a San Francisco Recreation and Park site for the enjoyment of all.
The Rengstorff House - Mountain View (Peninsula)
Also very reasonable rates! The Rengstorff is not available during public tour hours: Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 am - 5 pm, and Sundays from 1 - 4 pm.
History of the Rengstorff House
Like so many others of his generation, Henry Rengstorff was lured to California by stories of the gold rush. At the age of 21, young Henry sailed around Cape Horn and arrived in San Francisco in 1850. Too late to join the gold rush, he took a job on a Bay steamer traveling between San Francisco and Alviso.
Later, he became a farm laborer in Santa Clara Valley where he saved enough money to purchase squatter's rights to 290 acres of land in San Jose. As Rengstorff's fortune grew, so did his land holdings. Finally in 1864, Henry bought the 164 acres of land which is now part of Shoreline Business Park north of the Bayshore Freeway. Near where Rengstorff House stands today, Rengstorff built a ship landing. The Rengstorff Landing played a significant role in the economic development of Mountain View and the Peninsula.
A succession of owners held the Rengstorff house over the next 20 years. In 1979, the house was purchased by the City of Mountain View, eventually moved to its present site and restored. In March 1991, the Rengstorff House was dedicated as a public facility by Mountain View's City Council.