Posts by Lloyd Kahn (274)

Floating Homes in Portland

On my way to see Foster Huntington in Washington this morning, crossing the Columbia River on Highway 5, I spotted this floating community.

Some quick Google research:

The Portland region has more floating homes than Seattle or San Francisco. Hayden Island alone has four moorages for floating homes, including West Hayden Island Moorage, with 57 floating homes, on the far west side, Jantzen Beach Moorage, Inc, the largest with 176 floating homes (south of Home Depot), Island Cove Floating Homes with 55 units (just west of Lotus Isle Park), and Tomahawk Island Floating Homes with some 72 community members…

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Godfrey Stephens' New Sculpture

Godfrey just sent this photo. After two day’s work. What a fucking genius! He’s getting better.

His combination of Kwakwaka’wakw training and artistic sensibilities from the depths of his soul produce powerful art. He’s in Builders of the Pacific Coast, Tiny Homes on the Move, and throughout this blog, and has been in my life for over 50 years.

He’s more of an artist — wild, productive, joyous — than the world-famous rich artists out there getting all the attention. He’s a Picasso under the radar.

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Island Soul

I don’t see any boards, but these guys gotta be surfers. Somewhere in Kapa‘a, Kauai. Authentic, yeah?

What I like here (aside from the soulfulness):

  • Hip roof, corrugated steel sheets
  • Porch area by subtraction. Think of it as the overall simple roof shape; then by moving walls inside, you get porch.
  • Up off ground on simplest of foundations.
  • Colors: red/green. I love the brick red color, especially window trim on Pacific west coast.

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California Today: A Housing Fix That’s Close to Home

264-square-foot accessory dwelling unit in Livermore that was designed by Avava Systems, a Bay Area startup. Sasha Moravec

In The New York Times,
article by Mike McPhaite

In case you can’t access the entire article, here it is. This is important! Can it be that officials are doing something relevant for affordable housing? Small Homes!

One fix to California’s housing crisis could be in our own backyards.

A growing movement of urban planners is pushing policies that would spur homeowners in hot housing markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles to create “granny flats” on their properties.

Known officially as accessory dwelling units, they typically take the form of garage studios or backyard cottages that can be used by an elderly relative or a college-age renter.

Until now, California cities have not taken to the units with the same gusto as other places on the West Coast such as Portland and Seattle. That’s in large part because the cost and red tape involved in building them has been prohibitive for many homeowners.

But in January, legislation went into effect that was intended to change that, by eliminating certain utility connection fees and removing a requirement to add off-street parking for each new unit.

The idea was simple: Make it easier to build the units, then watch the housing stock soar and the rents fall.
Read More …

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A Phenomenal Bread Knife

All our bread is homemade, so we use a bread knife daily. We’ve had 3 of them, of different configurations. But we got this very unusual one a couple of months ago, and it’s not only better then any bread knife I’ve ever seen, but a delight to use.

Irene says: “I like making bread knives. I tell folks when they buy ’em, ‘If this doesn’t cut the bread SMACK out of the oven better then anything else you’ve ever used, then I’ll double your money back.’ No one’s ever returned a bread knife.”

The wood is cherry or mahogany, they are made in the USA, and available for $30 plus $10 postage (mail check) to:

Irene Tukuafu
2639 N. Sycamore Haven Dr.
Nauvoo, Illinois 62354

Check out also, Irene’s musical instruments:


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Eat Dog's Driftwood Beach Shack

Photo by Lloyd Kahn

…Eat Dog built a tiny house in a semi-hidden ravine leading down to the same beach. (I walked on this beach many times in those years and never spotted his shack.) He lived there for about two years, until getting to work as a gardener miles away in the “civilized world” got to be a strain, and he abandoned the place. Soon others moved in, notoriety followed, and it too was confined to a fiery ending…

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Small Homes Now Available

Our new book Small Homes: The Right Size is now available at independent bookstores, and Amazon — as well as from us: www.shelterpub.com/…

Shameless Commerce Dept.: This is, I think, the best building book we’ve ever done. (Yes, I’m sure I’ve said this before, but it keeps reoccurring to me.) Shelter is everyone’s favorite; it captured the times; it inspired thousands of homes. Builders of the Pacific Coast is in some ways, my best book. It’s an odyssey of discovery where the reader rides shotgun with me over a two-year period — cohesive and focused.

BUT Small Homes is so useful to so many people in this era of astronomical home prices and rents, that I think it’s hugely important. It offers alternatives to people looking for rentals on Craigslist or homes on Zillow. Here are 65 very different homes, of different materials, in different parts of the world. The idea, as with all our building books is to use your hands to create your own shelter.

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Surfing During Paleolithic Times

…Wanna see our pictures on the cover
Wanna buy five copies for our mothers
Wanna see my smilin’ face
On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone

People of a certain, um, age will remember the song from the early ’70s by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show.

Well, I finally made it on a cover, 61 (ulp!) years later in the just-out copy of The Surfer’s Journal. I was wearing a shorty wetsuit from the Dive ’N Surf shop in La Jolla (pre-O’Neill). You sent them your measurements and they sent you the cut-out pieces and a bottle of Black Magic glue and some tape. You’d glue together pieces, glue tape over seams. Early wetsuits didn’t have nylon lining, so you’d rub cornstarch on your body so as to be able to slip the suit on. Underneath it I was wearing on old-fashioned wool bathing suit. A 9-foot Velzy balsa wood board. (This was just before foam.)

This was about a 6-to-8-foot drop to the water (at Steamer Lane), there was a ledge, and we did this when the tide was right in order to stay dry. We’d wait for a wave to hit the cliff, then jump as the backwash flowed outward.

Before wetsuits there wasn’t much of a crowd problem. I remember a foggy morning, 6 to 8 feet at the Lane, four of us out. Ah, me.

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