One of the many benefits I get from writing this blog is learning much more about places I’ve seen or heard about, but never taken the time to stop and explore. Old St. Hilary’s, up on the hill overlooking downtown Tiburon, is such a place. I’ve looked up at it many times, but never driven up the dead-end street, Esperanza, to get out and see it. Well, now that I have, I know that it is not only a beautiful, quiet and contemplative spot, but also a marvelous vantage point looking out over downtown Tiburon and out to Belvedere, Sausalito, Angel Island, and San Francisco. It’s also wonderfully sunny with its unobstructed south-western hillside exposure.
Old St. Hilary’s, preserved and maintained by the Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society, is surrounded by the John Thomas Howell Wildflower Preserve, which will soon be chock full of wildflowers, including a number of endangered species. It’s a really large preserve and will ensure that Old St. Hilary’s is safe from encroachment by development and the terrific views will remain.
The chapel is only open to the public on Sunday afternoons from April – October, from 1-4. There are occasional concerts open to the public performed in the chapel as well (events calendar). And, of course, there are lots of weddings held here. It’s famous for its elegantly spare redwood and Douglas fir interior, which is largely unchanged from its original 1888 design. The architect in me loves this space.
Where: 201 Esperanza Street, Tiburon CA 94920 (map)