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Campus Renewal 2016

"Transformation is a process, not an event."

Thank you for your interest in our Campus Renewal Project, the largest property development effort in Esalen’s history. We successfully completed the first phase of the project in June 2016, which included renovation of our iconic Lodge building. To learn more about our restoration and expansion efforts, visit 2016 Campus Renewal Milestones.

As we look ahead to 2017, there is still much to accomplish to ensure a strong foundation for Esalen for generations to come. Specifically, we will begin work on enhancing and expanding our staff residential housing. Often times returning guests tell us that coming to Esalen feels like “coming home”, and this is due in no small part to the familiar faces who make up our vibrant living and learning residential community.

Learn how you can be a part of Campus Renewal.

South Coast Center

Located north of Esalen on Highway 1, our South Coast Center residential housing is home to residential staff members and is essential to ensuring we can support a thriving residential community on property. Unfortunately much of South Coast was destroyed by fire in 2011. With such limited affordable housing in the Big Sur area, the renovation and expansion of South Coast is essential.

We will begin construction of South Coast in Fall 2016 with the goals of:

  • Enhancing staff comfort, safety and privacy
  • Achieving net-zero energy use

Accessibility Improvements

Through 2017, we will continue a phased, comprehensive plan to bring facilities into accessibility compliance. All new building construction will be designed in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations.

Operations and Safety Improvements

General and vital infrastructure upgrades will be made to our electrical (e.g. lighting, heating), seismic and drainage systems. A widened service bridge that can accommodate official use golf carts will reduce highway trips by service vehicles traveling between the north and south sides of the Esalen campus. We will also create an optimized plan for parking vehicles on the property.

Hot Springs Creek Bridge

The Hot Springs Creek Bridge connects the north and south sides of campus and has a strong symbolic and aesthetic significance at Esalen. Standing on the bridge, one feels the sacred power of the three waters: the freshwater creek rushing below, the thermal hot spring near the Meditation Hut, and the vast Pacific Ocean beyond.

Our Campus Renewal plans include replacing the existing wooden bridge with a modern and accessible one. The new bridge will be constructed of steel, which will be allowed to gently weather and blend with the natural aesthetics of our campus. The deck of the bridge will ideally be constructed of redwood timbers or pressure-treated wood to allow for the sound of the creek below to be heard by those walking across. The location will be slightly revised to allow for the new bridge to be accessed without steps or steep slopes. The proposed bridge will have a width of 10 feet. The bridge will also help improve access for physically challenged guests between their workshops or conferences on the north side of campus and the lodge and baths on the south side.

Guest Room Renovations

Details pending.


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Campus Renewal

Join us on the journey of Renewal.