Private Exploration of Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village - Atlas Obscura
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Simi Valley, California

Private Exploration of Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village

It's never too late to become an outsider artist.

The world of folk art environments has its fair share of bottle houses—but this may be the only bottle village.

Join Field Agent Sandi Hemmerlein as Atlas Obscura Society Los Angeles explores the landmark Bottle Village, which was constructed in the latter part of the 20th century out of soda, beer, and wine bottles, Chlorox bottles, blue bottles, green bottles, and brown bottles—all held together with mortar in a confounding style of outsider architecture that defies the laws of physics and gravity.

As you wander the grounds, you may discover other pieces of discarded ephemera and nostalgia, like a disembodied baby doll head or a shrine made out of materials scavenged from the local landfill. The "Pencil House," the "Round House," the "Shell House"—all the work of Tressa Prisbrey, who began construction in 1956 at the advanced age of 60 and worked on it well into her 80s.

Both fantastic and fantastical, Bottle Village is a California State Historical Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These designations recognize the creativity of such a large-scale folk art environment and the great accomplishment of one determined, inspired, and self-taught "grandma."

This is a rare opportunity to see the fragile property, which has sustained damage from earthquakes and storms, on a private tour led by a docent. 

Notes for this adventure:

  • Heavy rain and/or wind cancels.
  • Portions of the site are not accessible to the general public. Structures that have sustained significant damage cannot be entered.
  • Be prepared for two hours of standing and walking across the 1/3-acre property on uneven terrain. Wear soft-soled shoes that are comfortable to wear and won't damage the bottle art underfoot.
  • No open-toed shoes / sandals—there are tiny glass shards everywhere!
  • Bottle Village is not ADA-accessible.
  • All ages are welcome, but strollers are not allowed. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Bring/wear sun protection, as there is very little shade.
  • Bring your camera! Bottle Village is infinitely Instagrammable. #atlasobscura
  • A portion of the proceeds will go toward preserving Bottle Village and future restoration plans. 
  • A signed liability waiver form is required from all attendees.

Advance Tickets Only. All Sales Final. No Refunds or Exchanges.