With its sunny courtyard and generous cased windows, this uplifting 1922 building is an interfaith landmark. Since 1969, it's been home to the largest Buddhist community outside Asia. Before she built Hearst Castle, Julia Morgan (California's first licensed woman architect) designed this Italianate brick structure to house the Emanu-El Sisterhood, a residence for low-income Jewish working women – note the ironwork Stars of David on the 1st-floor loggia.

Today the Zen Center opens to the public for visits, meditation (see the website for a schedule), introductions to Zen practice (8:40am Saturdays) and other Zen workshops. The bookstore provides Zen perspectives on a range of subjects, from art to cooking.