Next Steps


We are getting very close to obtaining our building and restoration permits! If you’ve been by the property you will see that we have put up the security fencing. It’s a first step! We hope to break ground and begin grading the site in late May early June once the ground has dried sufficiently.

In the meantime, once permits are obtained we will begin the restoration work to retrofit the northern “flagpole” obelisk, as well as contain this and the other obelisk with protective shielding to avoid damaging these historic structures during construction. We will also begin to dismantle the decomposing well house walls down to it’s terra cotta tile floor/foundation, which will remain. We will be salvaging materials (key abalone, sandstone detail pieces as well as bricks) to be used in restoring the Yogi Temple, front archway portal as well as build an above ground surround around the in ground well where we will place an “homage” fountain to honor the historic site of the well house. We will also be dismantling the north and west side elements of the historic wall to salvage usable elements of this to restore sections of the front pieces of this historic wall, which will remain.

Our local mason, Mike Threet, and GC, Taylor Darling of Santa Cruz Green Builders, will be teaming up to work on this work, as well as begin the restoration of the Yogi temple and front archway portal. As many of you have been curious how we will ultimately be using the Yogi Temple, this will not be a habitable structure (no one will be living in this building), we instead plan to use this unique structure as our “creative zone,” where we will have our music and art studios and ultimately look forward to sharing it in its restored beauty with the community during special events and annual Open Studios.

For those curious, we have helped Richard Serrano, the long time care taker of our property, move his cars up to his family’s 15 acre estate in Clearlake. Richard indicated that though he plans to ultimately “retire” there to help his brother and sister manage that property, for the foreseeable future he plans to enjoy spending time with his daughter and granddaughter in the Santa Cruz Mountains. We wish Richard well and are ever grateful for his contribution to keeping the historic Red Brick Castle/Court of Mysteries safe from vandals and vagrants. If it weren’t for Richard the structures might well be in worse shape than they are and we might have lost them all forever. So, thank you, Richard. We love you, man!!


A year in the making

It’s been a year since we last posted to our site. Apologies for the long time away. In the past year we have been working with our architects and team of consultants, along with the city of Santa Cruz, to get our restoration and building project approved. While it has been a long and sometimes trying process, we are now approved by both the Santa Cruz Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) and Zoning Administrator/City Planning to move forward with what’s needed to get our restoration and building permits.

We are no longer hopeful that we will be ready or able to break ground on our project this year, but we are hopeful that we will be able to begin the long road of restoration work and prepare to break ground in the spring to build our new home alongside the historic Yogi Temple. The secondary parcel to the north of the historic building will be a “phase 2” effort once the restoration work is completed and we are able to move into our new home.

As it has been since the beginning, before we purchased the property, our goal is to build a beautiful family compound surrounding the historic landmark structures and to restore the majority of these structures to reflect their true beauty.  Neighbors and the community have largely been in support of our vision, but there have been some concerns about what we have planned. We hope to have assuaged these concerns for now and be welcomed into the neighborhood and back into the Santa Cruz community in long term. We truly look forward to being the stewards to care for this historic property and enjoy its beauty with the community.



Baby Steps – Cleaning up the property


Palms cleaned up beautifully!

Since purchasing this wonderful property in February, we’ve been hard at work with our architect (Eugene Sakai, Studio S Squared), so develop our site plan and the floor plans and elevations for our dream compound. We have made much progress on these elements, but as they are all conceptual, it’s been leaving us feeling like we were just watching our lovely property sit stagnant as spring and now summer have come and gone, leaving the grasses dried out and the overall property looking a bit shabby.

To counter act this we’ve begun to do some initial landscape maintenance to prepare for the larger building project we hope to begin as soon as possible in 2017. This maintenance process began with having Quality Arbor Care (Henry Bosinger and team) come out to assess the condition of the existing trees throughout the property. We came to the conclusion that all of the palm trees were in good condition, they just needed some clean up and care to allow them to stand majestic. Unfortunately, the few other trees on the property were in varying stages of disease and were sadly dead or dying. As such, we decided to clear these out to allow us, when the time comes, to plant new drought tolerant trees and plants, which will ultimately help to bring this lovely estate to its full potential beauty.

In addition to cleaning up and clearing out the trees, we also brought in Nate Arroyo and his crew to help clear out years of overgrowth and blackberry brambles, as well as get a start on the massive job of weed abatement. Nate and his team have done a terrific job clearing out tons of overgrowth and trash, with their crowning achievement being the bark they took painstaking effort to lay out (with weed abatement cloth underneath), along the front, center and sides of the property.

All of their efforts, combined with Quality Arbor Care’s hard work on the trees, has helped to give us a nice start toward bringing this property to life again. Many thanks to Henry, Nate and their crews for all of their hard work!


Tree clean up process


Palms looking much better with the old fronds removed


Look at all those old palm fronds!


Weed abatement bark along the front helps make the property look much cleaner


Center court weed abatement bark


Starting to looked loved…

Welcome to the Castle!

FrontView_OldSHotWelcome to the new site dedicated to the historical landmark, most frequently referred to as the “Red Brick Castle.” Over the coming months and beyond we will be posting information about the property, its history and its future.

We purchased this wonderful, crazy historic property in February 2016 and are excited to tackle restoration work, as well as round out and compliment this property with new residential homes to complete what will become our primary family compound. I will be documenting here for anyone who cares to follow the progress of our restoration and construction project.

The first step in our project was to work with our historic architect, Nancy Goldenberg of Carey & Co, to document a historic assessment report, providing the Historic Preservation Committee of Santa Cruz with an overarching report on the condition of each element of this historic property. This report, as well as a structural report from our civil engineer, Dale Hendsbee of Mesiti-Miller Engineering, has helped to inform us of the structural integrity as well as historic significance of each component of this mysterious property.

We have begun the process of working with the city planning department and Historical Planning Commission as to how best to renovate this gem while providing visibility to these landmarks. Our intent is to save and restore all of the major (significant) components of this amazing architecture. The most significant components being the front archway, or Gate of Prophecy; the main brick house, or Red Castle; the two obelisks set at the front of the property, and a representative portion of the original fence or wall along the front of the property to either side of the archway. All will be carefully documented and given respectful representation in our historic depictions of the property, which we plan to portray, along with historical facts and urban legend on a tasteful placard set at the front of the property once our restoration work is complete.

Looking forward to taking any interested readers along on our journey!