Steve Cotler

Steve Cotler

Sea Ranch Chapel

Less than a mile from the Pacific, unmanned and open to all, the Sea Ranch Chapel appears to be protected by its own beauty, for vandals neither spray-can nor gouge it. A non-denominational sanctuary for prayer, meditation, and spiritual renewal, it is an architectural wave on a sea of grass just off California’s Route 1, 110 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge and a few miles south of tiny Gualala (“wa-LA-la”), Mendocino County‘s southernmost city.

A gift from locals Robert and Betty Buffum, the chapel was designed by San Diego artist and architect James T. Hubbell and built in 1985.

Among the many beauties of the California coast, the Sea Ranch Chapel is unique.


  1. Ladd Biggerstaff says:

    I’ve been there. You are right. Fantastic!

  2. Abi says:

    Gorgeous, though I wish that I could see a pic of this with a person next to it, for a better idea of its size.

    [SC responds: Good point. I have added a photo of me and two granddaughters inside the building. Use the height of the rock wall and the size of the stained glass window to judge building size.]

  3. Anita Perth says:

    Looks like a lovely place, nice and peaceful, you could lie there on the grass and admire the design. Take time to reflect and get away from all the artificial and stress in our lives. Thanks for the article.

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