No tour of Santa Barbara area historic homes would be complete with-out designs by noteworthy architects and their signature styles. But our event this year acknowledges the reality that custom homes are designed through the collaboration of both architect and client, with the resulting balance sometimes displaying architectural genius in unexpected styles. This year’s Tour presents five homes which are notable for their outstanding design, exceptional craftsmanship, and sustained livability, and remain as exemplars of their era.
A Classic Spanish Colonial Revival home designed in 1929 by well-regarded architect Joseph J. Plunkett in the Andalusian style has been little changed from the 1930’s. The original owners lived in the home for 50 years, and the home was a favorite of Miss Pearl Chase even before the 1925 earth-quake that set the stage for rebuilding the city with a Spanish flair.
Early country living in Montecito is represented by the late 1910’s Prairie Rustic style home, with its low-pitched, hipped roof line, central fireplace and deep eave overhangs that suggest a local adaptation of the Midwestern Prairie style. Visitors will appreciate the changes that have made this home graciously livable for more than a century, while keeping original details such as windows and a sliding pocket style door. The Coast Redwood in the front garden is said to date from the house’s beginnings, and the current owners have brought this once failing tree back to magnificent life with extreme care.
A late Craftsman home built in the early 1920’s, was owned originally by local architect Handy L. Wass, who may have designed the home, but those details are lost to history. This is a comfortable, large cottage style home with a coved foyer ceiling, striking living room and formal dining room. The kitchen retains much of the original cabinetry, and the sweeping rear veranda features a discovered portion of original paradise floral wallpaper in situ.
A Mediterranean charmer, Boscobel, was a stunner on the 1926 visit by the Garden Club of America. Truly hidden in the hedgerow, this home includes elements of symmetrical East Coast Federalism while incorporating the stucco, clay tile roofs, and wrought iron balconies of Mediterranean and Spanish Colonial Revival styles. The gardens, while reduced from the original estate, feature a century-old Eugenia hedge arch at the north end.
Tour guests will be treated to refreshments in the garden at Casa Paz Del Mar, built in the 1920’s and designed by George Washington Smith in a Ger-man Domestic Architectural style. This home style is uncommon in Santa Barbara, but was popular in 1910s Europe where the original owners would have admired it. The home was originally designed to face the ocean, and over the years the front entrance has shifted to the opposite side. It is an excellent example of the collaboration between architect and owner, and features many details seldom seen in Smith’s later work.
“This year’s tour is remarkable, and we are so very grateful to the homeowners who have graciously opened their treasured homes to us after all that has happened in Montecito since December. It is truly a testament to the spirit of our community, and we look forward to sharing this very special neighborhood,” says Marcella Simmons, tour co-chair, who adds that a por-tion of the proceeds will go toward restoration efforts in Montecito.
The tour is open to the public from 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday, May 20, 2018. Tour tickets are $80 for members, $85 for non-members, and $110 for a ticket and first-time-only membership. To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE, or mail a check to the Pearl Chase Society Historic Homes Tour, 2735 Miradero Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93105. For information, call (805) 961-3938. Advance reservations required.
The mission of the Pearl Chase Society is to increase public awareness and encourage the preservation of Santa Barbara’s historic structures, gardens, and other resources. The Pearl Chase Society is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization. Contributions are deductible for tax purposes to the extent allowed by law.