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The Solution to the Flanders Mansion

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Add your name to our list of enthusiastic endorsers!

Flanders Mansion proposal

Click the image and add your name to the list to endorse the Buffo Curatorship Proposal

Be a Bohemian: Restore the Flanders Mansion

Our documentary on Carmel, Bohemian Soul, attempted to define the word “bohemian”- what qualities does a Bohemian possess? Who were those first settlers of Carmel-by-Sea who helped shaped the culture of our beloved village? Who are the Bohemians now who are continuing to carry the tradition forward?

(tip: use the chapter markers to navigate)

“To have a Bohemian Soul means to have the audacity to follow your dreams because you’re comfortable with the unknown.” – Mike Buffo, at the end of his speech during the Q & A when asked: what drew you to this project?

This film has shown us that there is an enthusiastic audience for the movies we want to make in Carmel. This audience is eager to support our creative works.

So we’ve launched our BE A BOHEMIAN campaign to identify who that audience is.

Will you embrace the Bohemian Qualities?

Who are nature lovers, actors, authors, storytellers, and unconventional artists?

Who will help us carry on the traditions of the original founders?

Who will help us keep the faith in Carmel’s strong history of cultural and natural heritage?

We ask you to embrace our vision for the Flanders Mansion as a unique historic venue to inspire positive change through its preservation, documentation of its restoration, and ongoing video production possibilities.

In everything we create at Flanders, we intend to embrace the traditions of the founders of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

On Jan 31st, 2023, the Carmel City Council agreed to make it a priority this year to find a curator to restore the historic property in exchange for a long-term lease.

Will the estate become the home of a wealthy businessman?

Or will it become the home of a Curator who will make it his life’s work to preserve the historic legacy of Carmel?

You can help decide who will become a steward of this City’s historic treasure.

The Buffo Family is pledging a long-term service to the community once the property is restored.

Please watch this 5-minute presentation by Curator applicant, Mike Buffo, at the Carmel City Strategic Planning Meeting from Jan 31st, 2023 which tells the story of the current efforts to restore and preserve one of two properties owned by the City of Carmel on the National Registry of Historic Places.

With a Buffo Curatorship, Carmel-by-the-Sea will get…

1.Permanent public access to a landmark estate in the center of the City’s largest park and open space.
2.A committed candidate for Curatorship who has rallied our community behind his bold, visionary digital service acting as the steward of this City’s arts, culture, and history.
3.Many educational benefits to our residents, local non-profits, and our village’s artistic community.
Read the article that hit the cover of the Pine Cone about the surprise announcement of this proposal from 2018 right here:

Flanders Mansion Inches Toward Front Burner Again_Feb 2023.pdf

The City Council has considered several offers for residential Curatorship, however, these proposals have not resulted in a proposal that satisfies the community’s many needs – as we understand them:

  • The City requires it to be a private home;
  • the public would like the property to provide a significant community benefit,
  • the neighbors want to continue to enjoy their peaceful and quiet neighborhood.


Our proposal seeks to meet these needs.


Add your name to our list of enthusiastic endorsers!

Flanders Mansion proposal

Click the image and add your name to the list to endorse the Buffo Curatorship Proposal

This proposal is endorsed by those who have protected this landmark estate since the beginning.
View the testimonial by Melanie Billig who served as the president of the Flanders Foundation for 24 years



Will you join the other reemerging Carmel Bohemians?

Flanders Mansion proposal

Click the image and add your name to the list to endorse this proposal.

What all backers of this proposal for Curatorship of The Flanders Mansion want:

Restore and refurbish this city-owned asset while preserving its historic look and feel; ensuring minimal impact on the neighborhood, and maximum community benefit for generations to come.




We would like Flanders to become a historic venue in the Mission Trails Nature Preserve to educate visitors about the City’s unique natural attributes and Carmel’s rich cultural history.

View Michael C. Hogan’s testimonial about this:

“We also see Flanders as an artistic venue to showcase the arts and culture of our City. We can imagine producing a virtual directory of recorded lectures, courses, and learning opportunities available online for all ages in various disciplines in the arts & sciences. In all creative productions at Flanders, our village will inspire our work.”

– Mike Buffo, Jan 31, 2023

The Curator will be a steward of Carmel’s legacy.



  • In the last 4 years, we have worked to perfect our proposal. We’re asking the City’s permission to conduct a 120-day Feasibility Study to define a scope of work and estimated cost for repairs & improvements to the electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems at Flanders

  • During our examination of the property in 2018 we concluded that any estimate for the complete restoration would be an inadequate guess without further forensic analysis. Our donors simply could not donate to a project without firm financial limits.

The Same Request: Conduct a Feasibility Study

  • At the end of our proposal in response to the City’s 2018 RFP for Residential Curatorship, we asked for more time to raise money and to conduct a feasibility study.  On Jan 31st, 2023, we submitted our revised proposal announcing that we’re now ready to follow through on this request.

View the presentation by Thomas Bateman-Hood, our architect:



  • During this time, we would appreciate the opportunity to raise pledges towards a capital campaign to see if there is enough public support for the benefits that the Curatorship will bring to our community.
  • Work with us to set up a “Restoration of the Flanders Mansion Special Purpose Fund” with the mission to restore &  preserve the City’s valuable assets: the Flanders Mansion and its grounds.
Should we successfully raise the minimum number of pledges by the end of this due-diligence period to fulfill the defined scope of work, we will collaborate with the City on a mutually agreeable lease. At this juncture, we will recoup the pledges as capital contributions and submit our contractors’ cost estimates for approval to begin work.



Will you join other enthusiastic members of the community who endorse this visionary project?

Flanders Mansion proposal

Click the image and add your name to the list to endorse this proposal.



View the testimonial by Dale Byrne, Chief Caring Officer for Carmel Cares


Should we need more time to raise the money, the City will be free to use the findings of our Feasibility Study as the updated information to support the next RFP – saving valuable staff time. Because we’re seeking pledges rather than donations, we only receive AND spend the contributions if we meet our fundraising goal.

Our donors want this historic property restored to provide a cultural benefit to all of us. Through the Buffo Curatorship, we don’t just get a revived historic building with one fortunate family residing in it. This family of storytellers pledges to build on this community’s rich artistic and historical legacy through ongoing video production opportunities.



Let’s meet Mike Buffo, the candidate for Curator.

View the testimony of Tony Tollner, a close friend to Mike for the past seven years.



– To provide an ongoing video production during the Flanders restoration process which will add to Carmel’s deep, cultural & artistic history.

– To assemble a world-class local restoration team with an extensive celebrated history of restoring historic properties similar to the Flanders Mansion.

– To garner a large number of endorsements from citizens, community foundations, neighbors, and local businesses.

– To establish a community-supported family with a track record of integrating their creative ambitions and work products with the artistic legacy of Carmel-by-the-Sea through video production, community education, and public service.

– A real solution to the Flanders Mansion challenge that we believe is the best “Single-Family-Home-Use” option to date.



Please join our list of endorsers of the Buffo Curatorship Proposal

Flanders Mansion proposal

Click the image and add your name to the list to endorse this proposal.


To restore this wonderful historic building which is on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s going to take a lot of time and money. When we’ve completed our feasibility study, our next effort is to reach our fundraising goal which will enable us to secure the lease on the mansion.  If we can raise a minimum of $300,000 (subject to updated cost estimates), we will have raised the minimum budget necessary to fix the home’s basic internal systems within 5 years (as required by the City of Carmel.)

– Upon reaching our fundraising goal which will bring attention and confidence to our project, many additional sources of support will ensure the completion of the restoration.

– Our restoration plan will first tackle the home’s critical internal systems as required by the City. By the end of the feasibility study, we should be able to define how much money we’ll need to repair the basic systems: electrical, plumbing, and mechanical.

– The restoration process will be led by Thomas Batemen Hood, Architect and Restoration Manager with 35+ years in local Building & Design, a Rotarian, Past Board President of the Monterey History and Art Association, Board Member of the Carmel Heritage Society, best of Houzz Award Winner, and has completed restoring a property within the neighborhood of Flanders.



We are asking you to get the word out about our upcoming capital campaign. We’re looking for endorsements and partners. If you know of someone or if you are aware of a neighbor or friend we should talk to, please help us in these ways:

  1. Please refer us to a potential partner by tagging them in the comments of one of our posts with a brief inspirational message. 
  2. Please share our posts to your channels with a brief statement saying something to the effect of “I’ve endorsed this proposal for the Flanders Mansion. I think we should all join this list of enthusiastic and committed endorsers of Mike’s vision for Flanders!” 
  3. Introduce Mike to a potential neighbor, friend, or partner by sending an introductory email to
  4. Write Mike a letter of endorsement he can use in his efforts by answering these questions: Who are you? What’s your relationship to Mike and/or House of 8 Media? What do you like most about this proposal? What is your vision for the future of Carmel-by-the-Sea? Why are the Buffos the best choice for Flanders and the future of Carmel? 
  5. MOST IMPORTANTLY: add your name, and the name of the organization you represent to our growing list of committed endorsers of this proposal. This is a huge help!




Flanders Mansion proposal

Click the image and enthusiastically add your name to our list of endorsers



Join us to care for this nationally-recognized historic property now and in the future for the benefit of us all.

Many thanks to you for your support!


Warmest Regards,

Mike & Brittney Buffo

Endorse This Proposal

Be a Bohemian