Historic Spanish on the Riviera

Designed by the great architect, Winsor Soule, who did the incomparable Arlington Theater, this house is such a perfect example of the Spanish Colonial Revival in Santa Barbara that the City, which surprisingly has only four nationally landmarked buildings, has tried very hard to make this one number five. With its classic entry courtyard and its adjacent mirador tower and its separate guest house which is big enough to have its own address, its many wings sprawl across the ample site like a Spanish Hilltown, nearly every room enjoying views to the ocean. It came to BHN practically untouched.

As with most of the historic houses BHN has been involved with, the owners, not to mention of course the City, wanted to preserve as much as possible and only alter those areas that our current way of life almost always demands: one bedroom was sacrificed to enlarge the master bath and closet; the servants’ kitchen was made bigger and a new family room was attached; and an additional, separate garage was added. Very oddly, the second-story mirador could only be reached by a pull-down ladder, so a Prohibition era, absolutely secret door and storeroom in the paneled library had to give way to a staircase that Soule should have designed originally. Unfortunately, Soule’s innovative hidden gutter system had leaked, bringing decades of rainwater into many interior walls, so it took far more money and historical intrusion than was planned for to bring the house back.

Santa Barbara, California

Original design in 1928 By
Soule, Murphy, Hastings

Construction By
RHC Builders, Inc.