269. Falkirk Cultural Center

If you’ve never been to the Falkirk Cultural Center (most people know it simply as “Falkirk”) on Mission Street in San Rafael, it’s worth a visit. It’s an 1888 Victorian mansion on the National Historic Register whose name comes not from the original owner, but rather from the birthplace of its second owner, the shipping magnate Robert Dollar, who hailed from Falkirk, Scotland, and purchased it in 1906.

Falkirk is free to visitors (although there’s a requested donation of $3-5) and has rotating art shows and exhibits in the galleries upstairs. Right now there’s a juried art show of Marin artists, with some good pieces to see.

What I also find interesting is the photo gallery upstairs with pictures of Robert Dollar’s history. He built one of the most important and influential shipping businesses of the early 20th century, made the front cover of Time Magazine in 1928, and died at the age of 88 with a net worth of about $40,000,000. I wonder how many Marinites know his story?

There’s a pretty rose garden and a very interesting “Mediterranean” garden, with maps showing all of the Mediterranean climates around the globe as well as the plants that grow there.

Where: 1408 Mission Street, San Rafael, CA 94901 (map)


  • Tue – Thu: 12 – 5
  • Sat: 10 – 1

Fee: FREE ($3 – $5 suggested donation)

Phone: 415.485.3328

Falkirk Cultural Center website

About Anne Mosnier Kennedy (374 Articles)
Real Estate Broker / Cal-Haas MBA / Architect / Real Estate Investment Instructor

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