Breaking Bad At Zabriskie Point

Breaking Bad is fiction. MY STORY is reality! Mel Lyman was born in Oregon. He is in my family tree. He married Jessie Benton, who is kin to Senator Thomas Hart Benton, whose name was removed from Benton Hall, by Ed Ray at the urging of students who stepped out of Zabriskie Point. Art immitates life. You can not fuck with the arts, and an artist – and get away with it. This is not a violent threat, but a fact. Art dominates our culture. Cellphones are full of Art, as is our T.V.s and movie theatres. How about books?

John Presco

Mel Lyman’s Culture War

Mel Lyman married Jessie Benton, the daughter of the artist, Thomas Hart Benton, the cousin of Garth Benton, the father of Drew Benton, the daughter of my late sister, Christine Rosamond Benton.

The Gooch genealogy ends thus;



ii. JESSE P. BENTON, b. Private.

I met Jessie once at the Fort Hill commune. I lived down the street two blocks in a commune I and four friends founded in 1970. We exchanged food and ideas.

With the rekindling of the Culture Wars by the Pope over sonic imaging and birth control, I must assume the War on Hippie Bohemians has been rasied from the Dead – Heads. When you add together my history with alternative societies and thinking, you can conclude I am the Big Boss Bohemian Man – the Last Hippie Man Standing!

Come and get me – Ratzinger! You dirty rat!

Jon the Nazarite

Brook-Kothlow and Zabriskie Point

I looked at videos of the movie ‘Zabriskie Point’ two days ago, and am amazed at how similar this movie is to my investigation into how my sister died.!topic/alt.obituaries/QroVowa8q6M

And so with his first project, Brook-Kothlow had made a name for
himself. For the better part of the next 15 or so years, the architect
was in high demand, all the while repeatedly drawing from that Duncans
Mills timber stash and outdoing himself, it must be said, with each
new project. In ’69, it was the Staude House, his first radial design
and the first project to come directly from the Hill of the Hawk work.
In ’71, there was Coker Studio. In ’74, he did the Kemnitz House. In
’78, he was building his own house and studio. In the ’80s, there were
houses for Michael Trotter and Allen Fox. A few of these are visible
from Highway One, and they would have caught your attention. The
zenith, though, is the house you’ll never see during a drive and won’t
find on the Internet: The Clint and Maggie Eastwood residence, ’75, in
Pebble Beach. Clint, too, had seen the LA Times’s Home magazine piece
on Hill of the Hawk.

Brook-Kothlow Allan Fox House









I just discovered the house my late sister was invited to at Rocky Point was designed by the famous architect, Brook-Kothlow, for Allan Fox, who sold this house in a hurry shortly after Christine Rosamond Benton was allegedly swept from the rocks below this house that plays a prominent role in the counterculture and the development of the World Wide Web.

Brook-Kothlow was inspired by the ideas of Khan and Brand Stewart, who put on the Tripps Festivals, and published The Whole Earth Catalogue which was the model for the Internet. Stewart was at the Open Theatre with the Loading Zone. Clint Eastwood owned another famous house by Brook-Kothlow. These houses are considered HISTORIC works of Art and Philosophy. Why would Alan Fox sell one of these very unique homes built JUST FOR HIM? He had to know Eastwood owned one. According to Donald Layne and his wife, who I talked to on the phone;

“Allan was in a awful hurry to sell that home, and did so at a great loss.”

Why was Mr. Fox in such a hurry to sell a home that he knew would go up in value. Fox is a big real estate investor. Sound’s like a bad business to me. Could it be I asked my surviving sister, Vicki Presco, who owned that house?

“Why do you want to know?” Vicki spat.
“I want to go there and talk to them.”
“I’ll get back to you.” my little lying sister said. Fifteen minutes later.
“They moved!”
“Can I have their names?”
“What difference does it make? They are gone!”

This is when my investigation began in ernest. Michael Harkins helped me for a while, and then taught me how to investigate. I sent my report to the Coroner with this quote from Harkins;

“Now that you know for sure you have been lied to, you must assume everything is a lie, until proven otherwise, and, you have to consider anything could have happened, including murder.”

When my family read “murder” they used that word as their defense, being, I was insane and mentally ill, I wanting to conclude that off the top. What I was looking for, was the motive for the owner of a famous house concealing his identity. Fearing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit, would be one motive. Allan Fox is a multi-millionaire, and thus susceptible to a suit. Did his attorneys suggest he sell that infamous home that Drew Benton allegedly did a drawing of? Drew is the daughter of two famous artists and is a member of the Historic Benton Family.

The second question I had, was why would Christine allow her daughter down at this extremely dangerous place when the wind was howling? Christine had nightmares about dying via a huge wave. Huge waves carved the bowl you see just below the Fox house. Not the stairs others have built to get down near the sea that is very deep. I saw plumes of water shooting thirty feet into the air when I was there during a mild day. At first, my nephew admitted to seeing huge plumes of water going high into the air – from the house! Surely Christine saw these plumes from the huge windows. I’m sure this is why Fox wanted a house built there, these plumes a means to impress his friends. Did Allan warn Christine about going down to the water’s edge?

Jon Presco

Zabriskie – The Musical

“I say hello to Nancy and the artists. I think about the Chicano Artist Sanctuaries I am thinking of founding.”

I wrote the above two days ago. I am seeing into the future. Trump’s good squad own guns and see themselves as cowboys. He is supplying them with targets. Hippies were a favorite target of the Republican-right. We were ‘The Savage Indians’.  We were hunted!

The pardon of Sheriff Joe checked so many boxes for what we know about how Trump views the world and operates that, in retrospect, it was utterly predictable.

This morning I awoke carrying a heavy load. I dreamed I was in a warehouse in New York choosing old props from a play that had failed, or, was never fully produced. Something went wrong. Now, I was the savior of this play. I heard someone say;

“This is an extremely difficult project. This guy gets his big break, and he’s going for this?”

I awoke with FAILURE staring me in the face. What is the play? I lie in bed half asleep and let my intuition look for the answer. Maybe it’s a musical? I thought about my friends in New York and ‘My Big Beautiful Blue Bicycle’ and my unfinished novel ‘The Gideon Computer’. I say hello to Nancy and the artists. I think about the Chicano Artist Sanctuaries I am thinking of founding. Then, I am looking at my next post I had in mind, and – BINGO!

In lest than an hour I am watching Darian Halsprin walking into a hole in the rocks where there is a waterfall in a grotto. it leads to a house designed by the famous architect – as a prop, that is going to be blown-up!

This movie was made in 1970, the year Rena and I went camping for fifty days in my 1950 Dodge. When Christine saw the painting I did of my muse in 1971, she took up art. Life imitates art. Life is a movie. Consider the real estate deal going on in the house.

Angela Davis is in this movie. My daughter’s mother had a son by a Black Panther, who knew Angela. It’s all here. It wrote itself, as if there is a God, and, Art is God.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2017

At the end of director Michelangelo Antonioni’s anti-capitalist, anti-life turkey of a film ‘Zabriskie Point,’ this house — designed by architect Paolo Soleri and (like several scenes in Antonioni’s film) based  on the house in Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘North by Northwest,’ which was itself inspired by  Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert houses — this house is ‘lovingly’ exploded in montage as the ‘climax’ of the film; destroyed in balletic slow motion with “a final destructive glee.”

As a director, Antonioni was for sure an accomplished artist.  His films were honest demonstrations — of essentially anti-life themes.  Antonioni’s original ending to this film, which was the perfect culmination of his film’s theme, was a shot of an airplane sky-writing the phrase “Fuck You, America,” which was cut by MGM president Louis F. Polk.

Never doubt that’s what he meant this replacement scene to say — “a series of slow-motion captures of capitalistic debris flying apart against a smoky blue background.”  Never doubt that he meant it.

That’s why the house needed to be so good.  Understand that, and you understand much of modern art.  Think about it.

And from the siting of the house you can begin to appreciate what it means to “integrate architecture with your site.”

Christian Brevoort Zabriskie (October 16, 1864 – February 8, 1936) was an American businessman and former vice president of Pacific Coast Borax Company. Zabriskie Point on the northeasternmost flank of the Black Mountains east of Death Valley, located in Death Valley National Park is named after him.

Maria Zabriskie (Brevoort)

Birthdate: April 10, 1779 (82)
Birthplace: New Barbadoes, Bergen County, New Jersey
Death: December 22, 1861 (82)
Hackensack, Bergen County, New Jersey, United States
Immediate Family: Daughter of Elias Brevoort and Maria Brevoort
Wife of Jacob Christian Zabriskie
Mother of Dr. Christian Brevoort Zabriskie; Elias Brevoort Zabriskie; Henry Brevoort Zabriskie; Maria Stoutenburgh Solomon and Col. James Cannon Zabriskie
Managed by: Michael M.van Beuren ©

About Elias Brevoort

Seems to have started as a Loyalist <see list. Not to be confused with another Elias Brevoort now on the DAR list and served under Major Goetchius (NJ) ref: DAR# A104082 . His younger brother Henry remained “loyal” in the Out Ward of New York and preserved the family farm just north of Washington Square.

One Elias Brevoort was granted land in Digby, NS as a Loyalist refugee. Evidently, he returned to the US just as many other refugees did.

Petition to the Crown

Restore the City and County to his Majesty’s Protection and Peace
list of signers

Abraham De La Matre

Birthdate: before March 29, 1693
Birthplace: New York?
Death: December 8, 1771
New Haerlem, New York?
Immediate Family: Son of Isaac Delamater, le Maister and Cornelia Evertse Delameter
Husband of Catrina Benson
Father of Catherine Brevoort
Brother of Hester Van Ness, (Wife #2); Evertje Verveelen; John Delamater; Isaac Delamater, Jr.; Rebecca Delamater and 4 others; Jacob Delamater; Cornelia Delamater; Susannah Waldron and Hendrick Delamater « less 

Descendants of Claude Le Maitre

Generation No. 1

1. CLAUDE LE1 MAITRE was born Abt. 1610 in Richebourg, Province of
Artois, France, and died 1683 in Flatbush, Kings County, New Amsterdam.
He married (1) JEAN DE LANNOY in prob. Artois, France. She died Bef.
1650. He married (2) HESTER DUBOIS1,2 April 24, 1652 in
Loverdwarsstraet, Amsterdam, Holland, daughter of PIERRE DUBOIS and
CATHARINE CLARISWELL. She was born October 01, 1625 in Canterbury,
County of Kent, England, and died Abt. 1710 in New York.

And so with his first project, Brook-Kothlow had made a name for himself. For the better part of the next 15 or so years, the architect was in high demand, all the while repeatedly drawing from that Duncans Mills timber stash and outdoing himself, it must be said, with each new project. In ’69, it was the Staude House, his first radial design and the first project to come directly from the Hill of the Hawk work. In ’71, there was Coker Studio. In ’74, he did the Kemnitz House. In ’78, he was building his own house and studio. In the ’80s, there were houses for Michael Trotter and Allen Fox. A few of these are visible from Highway One, and they would have caught your attention. The zenith, though, is the house you’ll never see during a drive and won’t find on the Internet: The Clint Eastwood residence, ’75, in Pebble Beach. Clint, too, had seen the LA Times’s Home magazine piece on Hill of the Hawk.

Lloyd Kahn (born 1935) is the founding editor-in-chief of Shelter Publications, Inc., and is the former Shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog. He is also an author, photographer, and pioneer of the green building and green architecture movements.

He next got a job in Big Sur as foreman building a large post and beam house out of bridge timbers from a dismantled bridge; the main structural members were 30′ long, 8′ X 22″ redwood beams. He then built his own home out of used lumber and hand-split shakes in Big Sur, developed a water supply, and terraced a hillside for small-scale farming.

Kahn next worked for Stewart Brand as Shelter editor for the Whole Earth Catalog. In 1970 Kahn published his first book, Domebook One, followed the next year with Domebook 2, which sold 165,000 copies. In 1971, he bought a half-acre lot in Bolinas, California, and built a shake-covered geodesic dome (later featured in Life magazine).

Also in 2008, Kahn authored Builders of the Pacific Coast. Kahn authored a photo book about tiny houses, titled Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter published January, 2012.[3] Kahn’s newest book is “Tiny Homes on the Move” published in April, 2014.[4]

The house at Rocky Point where my late sister, Christine Rosamond, was invited to by a person unknown, was owned by Alan C. Fox who I just tried to talk to on the phone. I got his secretary who asked my name and what was my business. I told her my name and this was concerning the house he owned at Rocky Point. I was put on hold for twenty seconds. When the secretary came back on, she said;

“Alan does not own that house anymore.”
“Then he did own it?”
“Yes, but not in a long time.”

I now have an image of Alan, the owner of the place that gave my sister, Christine Rosamond Benton, the last shelter she would enjoy on earth.

Let me make this picture for you: If your teenage daughter called and said she was spending the night at a friends, and she went walking with that friend, and was struck and killed by a car, wouldn’t you want to know who this friend was, who the parents were, where they lived, and their telephone number?

I am not saying Alan Fox invited Christine to the house on Rocky Point. If Allan rented this house, then he knew who he rented it to, thus, we may know who invited Christine to be a guest in that house.

Alan’s mother was an artist, and Alan is the publisher of ‘Rattle’ a publication that promotes poetry and poets. Royal Rosamond Press was founded in order to protect Artists and Poets. Perhaps Alan would like to know who Christine and her grandfather were? On this site Alan bids one to take an inventory of talented people in your family.

Jon Presco

The day before Christine’s funeral, Vicki and I are sitting at the dining room table in our late sister’s house talking about the accident. We make a diagram, or map of the place Christine was swept off the rocks. It is a top view and I we have placed four people in that bowl;


There is silence. I am considering talking to Vicki’s son, Shamus, when my sister gets up and takes the note pad into another room. Shamus and Drew are playing video games in the den. Drew is 9 years of age. My friend comments on how unshook she appears.

Vicki comes back with the pad and puts it down before me, and says;

“I had Drew do this drawing in order to get in touch with her feelings. She moved this person over here. (points to hyphan betwen two top figures) She was not happy with where she placed her. She wanted to be accurate. There are not four people in that cove.”

I questioned Vicki again as to who was down in that cove, and, Shamus was no longer there. I was flabbergasted. I kept my mouth shut. This was a very primitive drawing, something a three year old would do. How would this help Drew get in touch with her feelings – by moving a stick figure over three feet!

When I saw Drew’s drawing that Mark sent me, when Drew was the same age, I knew Vicki had done this drawing. Drew is a gifted artist. No way would she do anything like this – in order to get in touch with her feelings – or for any other reason. Vicki was only gone for five minutes. No way would Drew put down the joystick to do this drawing.

A couple of weeks later Vicki says Shamus was up in the main house playing video games.

“I thought you said that part of the house was locked?”
No commnet.

In another conversation Vicki puts Shamus up in the guest house reading a book.

I get a call from Shamus who is angry. I sent a report off to John Detro who I thought was a reporter for the Pinecone. He is a freelance writer, and has shown my report to his friend, Stacey Pierrot.

Shamus now tells me he got a headache due to it being cold, and left the cove to go rest in the guest house.

“Vicki said you were reading a book – with a headache?”

“I wasn’t reading a book.”

I believe the sheriff and the coroner have a copy of this drawing on file. Vicki added to this drawing by showing me how far out the water, was, due to it being low tide – so ar you could not see it. And, it was foggy. Vicki put the fog in – and it has not lifted hence. Vicki needs to take a lie detector test – and some art lessons!

Vicki is an egregious liar, a master liar! Drew needs to be asked if she did this drawing. I suspect she is a poor liar, like her cousin Shamus. This is why we have only one eye-witness account from the three survivors.

When I talked to the sheriff on the phone he told me the main house was open and there were about five adults inside, plus, three children! He had put on scuba equipment to go fetch Christine who was still alive thirty minutes after the first 911 call. He told me he saw a third sister down in that cove. Was this Nina? Does she have children? Did she look like Christine?

These lies are an art form. This is minimalist art. That pyramid atop the hill is a house! Unbelievable! A helicopter plucked Christine from the sea and landed her near this house. My sister was put in a waiting ambulence so CPR work could be done. The ambulence rushed fifteen miles to the hospital. Why isn’t this drama in any book? Why have we not read many eye-witness accounts? What drama! What we allegedly got – is a child’s drawing of stick-figures? And from this they make a movie! Are you kidding me! Why don’t we see a helicopter in this famous cartoon drwan by a member of the famous Benton family?

C’mon! Where’s that infamous “rogue wave” and the 20 knot wind?

What we got for action, is a hyphan. So much for getting in touch with one’s feelings!

What became of the drawing Vicki and I made together that put her son about five feet from Christine? She must have torn it off the pad, and threw it away – as planned!

In a home movie Vicki and Shamus made a week later, serveral waves fill the cove.

“See, this is what happened to us.”

Shamus says something, and Vicki says;

“I told you not to come down here because it was too dangerous!”

Then THEY find the jacket Christine was allegedly wearing, high up in the iceplants.

“The big waves must have tossed it up here.” says Vicki.

When I questioed Shamus about this suede jacket that was in pristine condition, I wondering how Christine got it off, and how it made its way into the cover, I was hit with one giant lie after another.

The question I asked Vicki, that made her go fetch this drawing, was;

“Was it possible for Shamus to rescue Christine?”

It’s time for Vicki to get in touch with her feelings in a court of law – with a big blackboard hovering in the background! Time for some good ol courtroom drama!

Strap me to a lie detector! I’m good to go!

“It is nearly impossible for Vicki to believe that the jacket she has
retrieved from the iceplant is the same one Christine was wearing.
The world become bleary as Vicki tries to grasp the fact that the
ocean must have reached this far up on the slope. Un-noticed, Vicki’s
hands snap and unsnap the fastenings at the waist.” page 5

SHAMUS: “I was bundled in a jacket myself the morning she died. It
was blustery. I only got hot after running around (jogging maybe)
looking for lizards. I doubt she took off the jacket b4 she was taken
by the wave.”

As for the jacket Christine was wearing, he told me he wondered as to
why it was in such good condition after it was in the ocean, then lay
by the sea for a week! Vicki had found it in the iceplants. When I
pointed out how high up the ice plants were in the photo, Shamus came
up with a theory of his own as to how it got off Christine. He
suggested the coat got snagged on a rock, and was pulled off as
Christine was pulled out through that crevis. It then got washed up
on the rocks, then, the wind blew it up the hill onto the iceplants.
This theory eliminates the idea there had to have been a third rogue
wave that washed it up that high as Vicki suggests in Tom Snyder’s

“There’s nothing fishy about 1 wave being right after another. Only
one wave is believed to have taken her out . The fact a smaller one
set her up for the big one is not suspicous by any means. You’ve been
near the ocean….You usually see more than one wave do you not?And
no I don’t see what you are going though. Why is it so impossible for
a jacket to be washed up and not be trashed? And what significance
does the jacket have? It isn’t oj’s glove…..IF there were a cover
up for any reason (which there’s not), don’t you think MORE details
would be provided instead of less?”

Well, “MORE” details have been added by Tom Snyder – and by Shamus
himself when he says it was “blustery”. This is the key that unlocks
the truth, and lifts the fog that has shrouded the scene of my
sister’s death. It is Mr. Snyder who puts MORE testimony in
Christine’s mouth, and like so many before him, he has gone to great
lengths to remove the “blustery” wind!

Take note that Shamus Dundon suggests THE WIND blew the kacket UP the
steep hill onto the iceplants.

That year, Stewart’s Point Foundation received a publishing advance of $1.3 million for The Whole Earth Software Catalog, a record deal for a paperback original to this day. As a spin-off, he and Kevin Kelly organized the first Hacker’s Conference at Fort Cronkite, the old army barracks north of the Golden Gate bridge. It was in his talk at the conference that Stewart spoke his prophetic words, “information wants to be free”, before a hacker audience that included Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, Captain Crunch (Ted Draper), and Richard Stallman, among others. I was also there. Stewart had convinced Doug Carlston, the founder of Broderbund, and myself, to put up the money to finance the event. Stewart’s talk was later published in a May 1985 article in Whole Earth Review entitled “‘Keep designing’: How the information economy is being created and shaped by the hacker ethic.”

Clearly, some of the interesting thinking about the Internet has its origins in ideas formulated by the artists of the ’60s, which, wittingly or unwittingly, were carried forward by the enthusiastic young Lieutenant Brand.
Alan C. Fox Wrong Alan C. Fox? President
Phone: (818) ***-**** ext. *** 2JHXCF0Aza1IaE682zmkJQ Local Address: Studio City, California, United States
A C F Property Management Inc.
Employment History
Founder and President
A C F Property Management Inc.
Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation
International Trauma-Healing Institute
Board Memberships and Affiliations
Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation
Board Member
Bright Prospect
law degree
accounting degree
creative writing degree

38 Total References
Web References
Bright Prospect, 11 June 2012 [cached]
Alan Fox – Director
Alan Fox is the founder and President of ACF Property Management, a real estate investment and management company with over $1 billion of property under management.
He also serves as President of the Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation.
ITI – Mission, Develop new models, programs, and delivery systems for healing trauma, 20 Oct 2012 [cached]
Alan Fox
Alan Fox is the father of six outstanding children, and is the editor and publisher of Rattle, a well respected literary magazine. He highly values education, and has accumulated college degrees in Accounting, Law, Education, and Professional Writing. In his spare time he is the CEO of a successful commercial real estate firm which specializes in purchasing and managing large shopping centers in the Western United States.
Alan Fox Moonday …, 21 Aug 2012 [cached]
Alan Fox Moonday Poetry 2012
Alan Fox founded Rattle in 1994, turning what began as a class chapbook into one of the largest and most prestigious literary magazines in the world. In the process, he has interviewed over 60 contemporary poets, a selection of which appeared as Rattle Conversations (Red Hen Press, 2008), and published over 40 of his own poems. Fox just complete his first full-length manuscript manuscript, entirely composed of eight-line poems, Being There.

Alan Fox
Profiles in Philanthropy: The Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation — Detail » News » Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation, 1 Dec 2006 [cached]
Alan Fox created the Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation in 1999, naming the philanthropy for his mother, a teacher, artist, and musician who was the first in her family to attend college.
At year-end 2005, BREW reported a …, 31 Aug 2012 [cached]
At year-end 2005, BREW reported a company formed by Gary Dragul of GDA Real Estate Services Inc. in Englewood, Co. and Alan Fox of ACF Property Management Inc. in Studio City, Calif. paying $44 million ($260 per foot) to buy East Thunderbird Square.

The property has been in receivership since the company headed by Dragul and Fox defaulted on a loan that was secured by the retail project, which has an address of 13802 N. Scottsdale Road.

In March 2006, BREW reported companies formed by Dragul and Fox paying $63.5 million ($401.10 per foot) to buy East Thunderbird Square North, which is located at 14202, 14224, 14344 and 14418 N. Scottsdale Road.

While companies formed by Dragul and Fox have lost retail assets in the Valley through foreclosure, other companies formed by the investors have been buying retail properties in the Phoenix area.

His vision of the psychedelic era was essentially businesslike – as he tells the story, a lot of the founding hippie generation learned their manners as drug dealers in Haight Ashbury, San Francisco: “I wasn’t one myself, though I knew a lot of people that were. But when the Mob came in and killed a few of us, then we got out of that business, because they sliced up [the hippie dealer] Superspade and hung his torso from a tree out on the beach.

Did you always think that The Brotherhood of Eternal Love was just a peace-loving commune full of hippies? Always thought that their leader, former Harvard Professor Timothy Leary, was just a harmless guy who was unjustly persecuted for his call to America’s youth to “turn on, tune in, drop out”? Think again! In the 1970s the truth was revealed: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love turned out to be an international criminal organization involved in the production and distribution of drugs. Several members, along them Timothy Leary himself, were arrested. Some arrests even took place in Europe. It appears that the investigation into the Tate murders ultimately led to the downfall of the Brotherhood’s drug empire. On this page you can find more information on this “drug cult”, its practices and the connections it had to the Manson Family.

Storming Heaven

God in America, is a presentation of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and FRONTLINE, and explores the historical role of religion in the public life of the United States. The six-hour series interweaves documentary footage, historical dramatization, and interviews with religious historians.

God in America examines the potent and complex interaction between religion and democracy, the origins of the American concept of religious liberty, and the controversial evolution of that ideal in the nation’s courts and political arena. The series considers the role religious ideas and institutions have played in social reform movements from abolition to civil rights, examining the impact of religious faith on conflicts from the American Revolution to the Cold War, and how guarantees of religious freedom created a competitive American religious marketplace. It also explores the intersection of political struggle and spiritual experience in the lives of key American historical figures including Franciscan Friars and the Pueblo leader Po’pay, Puritan leader John Winthrop and dissident Anne Hutchinson, Catholic Bishop John Hughes, abolitionist Frederick Douglass, Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, reform Rabbi Isaac Meyer Wise, Scopes trial combatants William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow, evangelist Billy Graham, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Moral Majority’s Jerry Falwell.

A principal author of the Bohemian Modern [my term for it] design vocabulary, an idiom that found its energy source first in the Beat scene and then in the 1960s/70s back-to-the-land movement and its ad-hoc handmhttp:// house phenomenon, Brook-Kothlow was a major figure of first-wave environmental architecture in the American West. He specialized in conceiving houses that have that aura—an overwhelming feeling that gets you in the solar plexus the moment you sit down in front of the fireplace. Brook-Kothlow designed homes that manage to stand monklike amid the most intimidating of idyllic scenarios. How do you insert a building into glorious perfection?

A ca.1967 photo showing the construction of the Chappellet family’s Hill of the Hawk in Big Sur. The so-called Big House straddles the saddle of the site. George placed the studio, which is detached, a bit closer to the inspirational view. Built of reclaimed redwood bridge timbers, this was George’s first solo work following four years as an architect with Callister & Hillmer. The builders were Lloyd Kahn, Owen Greenan, Paul Wingate, and Seth Wingate. Photo courtesy Brook-Kothlow Family.

Integrative Arts: The Fox House in Big Sur, a classic heavy-timber design by George Brook-Kothlow. His original plans called for plantings on the roofs, he made a point of telling me, but compromises with the client had to be made. As it turns out, the rock roof echoes portions of the surrounding terrain.

At this time, for most of Brand’s bohemian contemporaries, computers meant large and faceless companies like IBM. But Brand himself had caught a glimpse of a different future at the beginning of the 60s, when a copy of the first computer game ever written, Space War, had escaped from MIT and found its way to Stanford. In about 1962, Brand had seen people playing the game, and been astonished by the effect it had: “What I saw was an interaction around computers that was as intense as anything I saw around drugs or anything else that I knew. People were absolutely out of their bodies playing. It seemed that computers were doing everything that drugs had promised. Drugs were much more self-limiting than computers: the hackers had found something better than drugs, but theirs was the same bohemian frame of reference.”

Sticks-and-Stones Organic: The Coker Studio / George Brook-Kothlow, Architect; Daniels & House, Builder. Circa 1971, California Coast.
Posted on May 1, 2012 by admin
In 1971, a year before the California Coastal Commission’s founding, legendary cartoonist Paul Coker, known for his long association with Mad magazine, commissioned an ecologically concerned live/work studio for himself, to be built on a rugged and wind-and-surf-blasted promontory in Big Sur.
Coker’s circumstances at the time required that the house be finished in only two months. His architect, Carmel Valley’s George Brook-Kothlow, working with Daniels & House Construction, of Monterey, delivered. The result is one of the most poetically quiet buildings I’ve seen on the coast.
With its humble timberframe form (the columns are reclaimed redwood bridge timbers) and sod-covered roof canted to the slope of the site, Coker Studio suggests a sticks-and-stones kind of architecture, a complete Organicism—timeless and free of pretension. The house manages to be exactly what the site demands of it: a warm, cozy, and soulful safe haven from the frequently harsh elements; a crafted building that asserts a certain rootedness to the earth without ever showing anything but absolute deference to nature’s strength and beauty.
It’s only as big as it needs to be. The ground floor holds a small living room with oversize fireplace, a galley kitchen, a bath, and space-maximizing built-in storage areas. A loft bedroom, situated to embrace the warmth of the chimney, completes the 700-square-foot floor plan. The floors are radiant-heat exposed-aggregate concrete—toastiness under your bare feet.
Recently, the very private current owners allowed me to visit and take some quick snapshots. Big thanks and appreciation to them for letting me share this with you.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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