Marincello, Marin County
Marincello, the city that never was. In the 1950s the U.S. government gave up tens of thousands of acres of the Marin headlands, north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The military had owned it since 1851 but land was no longer needed for defending the bay. Enter Thomas Frouge, a developer from Pittsburgh. In 1964 Frouge, along with money from Gulf Oil, proposed building a town called Marincello. The 2,000 acre development would house 30,000 people and called for 50 apartment towers, vast tracts of single-family homes, and a "landmark hotel" along the headlands pristine shoreline and hills. The project was approved by the County Board of Supervisors and construction began. But local conservationists continued to fight the development and in 1970 an appellate court ruled the developers hadn't followed the law and the construction halted. Eventually a government study proposed the area become a national park. Frouge and Gulf Oil saw the writing on the wall and sold the land to The Nature Conservancy which passed it on to the National Park Service. Today the Golden Gate National Recreation Area with its 75,398 acres and 28 miles of coastline remains undeveloped and attracts 16 million visitors a year, making it one of the country's most popular National Parks in America.
[ MAP K-9 ]


Blogger James said...

I wish I could figure out precisely where Marincello was supposed to be: in the book _Legacy_, we read that it was in Tennessee Valley, but that's hardly the headlands--is it? As a kid in Marin, hearing about Marincello, I imagined it right atop the headlands, with a view of the bridge and the city.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

James--take a look at the Marincello Wikipedia entry. It's complete with a map and pictures.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go down Tennessee Valley Road to where it ends at the parking lot. You're facing the trailhead to the beach. To your left is Miwok stables. Also to your left and slightly behind you is the entrance to Marincello. YOu can see where the gate was and where the dirt road still is. You can follow the road on foot all the way up to the top - it's about an 1100' elevation gain. Spreading out to the ocean is where the City of Marincello was supposed to go.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Just Observing said...

Just to correct an item - this land was not bought by the Nature Conservancy but by an organization which is known today as The Trust for Public Land and then donated to the national park system. I know this as I am a former member of staff of the Trust for Public Land and this correction can be further verified by watching PBS "Quest" segment: "National Parks: Bringing Parks to People".

9:48 AM  

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