It’s Done! It’s Beautiful!
We couldn’t have done it without you!
The Sausalito Historical Society will host a dedication of the new Ice House Plaza on Saturday, October 26 at 10 a.m. The community is invited to celebrate the Plaza opening at a “Golden Spike” ceremony commemorating Sausalito’s railroad history.
Come take a first look at some of the exciting new features in the plaza. They include railroad tie benches, the Sausalito history timeline, Historical Society Founder, Phil Frank, statue, new seating, landscaping, and lighting.
The Ice House was built as a cold storage hold for the railroad in the 1880s. It was moved to Caledonia Street in the early 1900s and used as an outlet for residents to restock their ice boxes. With the advent of electric refrigerators, the Ice House was moved again to Caledonia and Litho Streets to be used as an office. When that property went on the market in 1998, local architect Michael Rex “sold” the Ice House to the City for one dollar.
The late Phil Frank, legendary Bay Area cartoonist and former Sausalito Historical Society President, spearheaded fundraising for the relocation of the Ice House and conversion into a downtown Museum and Visitor Center in 1999.
After years of planning and fundraising, the Historical Society broke ground on the new History Plaza in January of 2019. The plaza will feature a timeline commemorating significant dates in the town’s history, surrounded by Heath Ceramics tiles resembling the railroad lines that once ran through town to the Ferry Terminal, log benches designed to look like railroad ties, and platform benches surrounding the trees.
In addition to providing seating for tourists and locals, the new plaza will provide an outdoor classroom for the Historical Society’s Schools’ Program, which teaches Sausalito history to third grade students from Willow Creek Academy and Bayside/MLK Academy.
A donor wall with the names of the many individuals, foundations, corporations and community groups who helped fund the plaza will be displayed. A life-size bronze statue of Phil Frank, which has been housed in the Historical Society’s rotating exhibit room on the third floor of City Hall, will be permanently installed in the newly lit outdoor plaza.
The Ice House Museum and Visitor Center hosts more than 30,000 tourists and locals each year to view artifacts from the Historical Society's permanent collection, discover local highlights, and shop for Sausalito-themed books, cards and gifts. The Ice House is staffed by Historical Society docents six days a week.