The famous, ranch house-style headquarters of Sunset Magazine in Menlo Park, California, is the object of “near-pilgrimage” visits by readers to this day.
Left: Bill and Mel Lane outside the new Sunset building with their father, Laurence W. Lane.
Right: “Visitors walking past the demonstration gardens get this view back toward main building. Barbecue, left. Reception room, center.” August 1952, p. 54.
Left: “You enter through these four-inch-thick carved pine doors. Inside is the reception desk where hostesses are on duty to take visitors through the building, patio, and garden.” The tours are now self-guided, but the ambiance is unchanged. August 1952, p. 48.
Center: “From the garden you look into the reception hall and along the roofed corridor that leads to the barbecue. Note that the corridor ramps up gradually with the rise in ground level.” Interior of the Sunset headquarters. August 1952, p. 48.
Right: Sunset’s test kitchen: “Looking through kitchen and freezer into pantry. Trick was to give space to many cooks without destroying efficiency when used by only one. Sink, work surfaces stainless steel. Cupboards blue, ceiling off-white. Natural redwood above cabinets.” August 1952, p. 52.
Left: “Aerial view of the Sunset grounds in Menlo Park, looking south. Along San Francisquito Creek, which forms the irregular boundaries of the property to the west (right) and the south is Sunset’s demonstration garden. Here you can see, in a quarter mile garden walk, typical plants of Pacific Coast from Canada to Mexico growing side by side. Main entrance is at lower left.” GHQ for a Western lifestyle. Significant remodeling has taken place since this photograph was first published. August 1952, p. 47.
Right: “Helicopter’s view shows Willow and Middlefield roads, the two buildings, and the 27-year-old garden at the magazine headquarters with its native and typical plant areas labeled.” A new view of the familiar grounds for the 80th Anniversary issue. May 1978, p. 128. (photo: Glenn Christiansen)