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Rancho Shazam - Greenbrae, California
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member DougK
N 37° 56.430 W 122° 30.996
10S E 542475 N 4199323
Quick Description: Rancho Shazam is an outdoor art collection of Artist Lee Greenberg. is sometimes wrongly referred to as Tin Man Stonehenge on Roadside America.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 9/23/2012 12:00:49 PM
Waymark Code: WMFB7J
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 5

Long Description:
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Rancho Shazam School of Art and Technical Stuff is a junk design house in Greenbrae, California, designed by Lee Greenberg.

Excerpted from a San Francisco Chronicle article published Sep 17, 1999:

Lee Greenberg presides over the Rancho Shazam School of Art and Technical Stuff, a third of an acre in Greenbrae crowded with an odd collection of whimsical monuments and rental units.

Lee, a native of what he calls Brooklyn-Queens-Manhattan, came to Sausalito in 1970 to live in a houseboat. Then he began crafting decorator items in marble and slate under the name "Captain Marble" -- recalling Captain Marvel, who would exclaim "Shazam!"

Greenberg bought the place in 1991, and the adjoining lot several years ago. His site art grew as fellow artists donated materials and Greenberg's whimsical nature found an outlet. An artist donated a collection of big plastic foam chunks that Greenberg painted to resemble stones, then planted to suggest Stonehenge. Known as Foamhenge, this did not sit well with regulators.

Greenberg planted gardens on a sliver of land across from the rancho and next to Highway 101. After clashing with the California DOT, he settled the dispute "adopting" the parcel, as the civic-minded might adopt a portion of freeway.

Now Greenberg tends several mounds just over a fence from the freeway. One he calls the Grassy Knoll. The other two, the South and North Gardens, are each peppered with cacti, absurd signs, small models of homes and a variety of detritus, and provide a series of tiny discoveries for the visitor. Separating the gardens is a wood tub called Lake Shazam. A placard with its "fact and legend" illustrates Greenberg's reverence for linear information. It reads: "Established, 1994; Gallons, 372; Fish, 16; Total: 2,402."

Across the street is the rancho proper, with its own version of a Tin Man. The rancho comprises two buildings on Lucky Drive. One is essentially complete, built of bright, corrugated metal, trimmed in red and sprinkled with whimsical geegaws. The metal finish generated a problem with neighboring city officials for aesthetic reasons -- "It doesn't have the Martha Stewart look currently favored by the City Council," Greenberg says -- but it remains.

Less rigorous regulations have made it easier for Greenberg to develop the rancho as a site for folk, or junk, art. Greenberg is especially interested in preserving objects that he says represent some part of county history, such as a circular base for a crane once used in Sausalito to swivel a boat crane. The 12-foot wheel, now tipped on its edge like a dwarf Ferris wheel, is posted on the front of one of his buildings.

The building also has a gleaming, spiral slide that Greenberg rescued from a playground at the decommissioned Hamilton Air Force Base. He stripped it bare and mounted it in front of a two-story building, but first had to justify it to regulators as an additional fire escape. To obtain the slide, he says he had to promise not to eat its paint, because of concerns about lead poisoning.

Bicycle on High Wire Planter Box With Tools "Bus Stop & Phone Booth

Tim Man Directions Tin Man Head Tin Man Heart Tim Man Mailbox

Follow the Yellow Brick Road "Fire Escapes" and other Hanging Objects Swivel Boat Crane Base

Most references identify Rancho Shazam as being in Larkspur, even though Google Maps suggests that this address is in Greenbrae. It is the nearby city of Corte Madera that Greenberg deals with on zoning regulations. To visit Rancho Shazam, take exit 450A from southbound Highway 101 and take an immediate right onto Nellen Avenue and then the next right onto Lucky Drive. Proceed to the end of the road.

Price of Admission: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Roadside Attractions Website: [Web Link]

Location Website: [Web Link]

Weekday Hours: Not listed

Weekend Hours: Not listed

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