Lehman Garden

1960-62 • Kentfield, CA

Halprin designed this garden on a steep ravine in Marin County for Harry and Deevee Lehman. He used a native rock outcropping to define one boundary of the garden, and contoured a swimming pool to its base. A small waterfall in the rock wall collects in a shallow pebbled basin before overflowing into the pool.

The floor of the pool was decorated in a colorful glass and stone mosaic by artist Ray Rice (who collaborated with Halprin on the pool at Woodlake Apartments a few years later). Halprin collaborated closely with the architect of the Lehman residence, Joseph Esherick, to design a redwood deck around the pool, with dressing rooms underneath. The rooms include windows with underwater views of swimmers in the pool. Halprin went on to collaborate with Esherick on major projects throughout the next decade, including The Sea Ranch in Sonoma County.

Early view of the Lehman Garden (Photo by Morley Baer)

Though the property had changed hands a few times since it was built, the original and subsequent owners appear to have been aware and appreciative of the original design intent behind both the garden and residence. All of the original features remain intact, including the underground dressing rooms. Furthermore, the house was featured in a book entitled Appropriate: The Houses of Joseph Esherick by Marc Trieb, published in 2007.

The house was put on the market in the spring of 2016. Both Halprin and Esherick were mentioned in the listing.  



Design Team

Jean Walton (horticulturist)
Dennis Wilkinson (draftsman)
Joseph Esherick (architect)


N/A- Private residence

N/A- Private residence


Info ScaleNational Register of Historic Places

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Featured Photographer

Ren Dodge 
Based in Oakland, California, Dodge has been taking photos professionally for more than a decade. A love of art led him to attend San Francisco State University where he earned a B.A. in Fine Art Photography. He began his professional career by working as an assistant on commercial and architectural shoots. An appreciation for design and fascination with the interplay between natural and built environments are themes in his photography.