Somewhere near the grand sequoias in Muir Woods is a former counterculture enclave that could be declared historic.
Not everybody knows what philosopher and author Alan Watts was talking about. And not everyone can locate the existentialists' former Marin home in Druid Heights, nestled somewhere in the hills near Muir Woods.
But the federal government is taking an historic interest in the remote five-acre enclave, which played host to authors, poets, and "world-class free spirits," according to the Marin Independent Journal. Already protected land owned by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Druid Heights area fits the criteria to be declared a National Historic Place, right among former presidents' homes, Civil War battlefields, and the like, the newspaper reported.
There's not much left of the area where folks like Watts, prostitutes' union founder Margot St. James and Pulitzer-winning poet Gary Snyder lived -- most buildings are crumbling and "rat-infested," according to the newspaper, with a few people living in converted chicken barns. A study conducted by a Stanford University undergraduate concludes that the remaining architecture is one-of-a-kind, and that the area would make an ideal artists' retreat, the newspaper reported.
A state review board must make the final recommendation, however. The California State Parks Office of Historic Preservation must recommend the area be declared historic to the National Parks Service, which is also in the process of updating its 20-year plan for all GGNRA land in the Bay Area, the newspaper reported.