These are the names of the great architects who influenced Santa Barbara’s Mediterranean Style Architecture, often under the guidance of Civic Leader, Pearl Chase.
After the 1925 earthquake, Ms. Chase made it her mission to see that Santa Barbara downtown was rebuilt in the Spanish/Mediterranean style architecture of today through her wide-ranging influence and tireless advocacy. To learn more about Pearl Chase Society, click here.
Prior to the 1925 earthquake, Santa Barbara’s architecture was typical of the time in Europe and the United States, Victorian style, some fine examples of which still remain around town, in particular the home of Pearl Chase on Anacapa Street, now a designated city landmark.
On a recent balmy evening 40 Village Property Agents were invited to a Walking Tour of Downtown Santa Barbara to learn more about the Spanish Colonial Revival Style Architecture which characterizes our beautiful City.
On the steps of the Court House Sunken Gardens Architect Anthony Grumbine taught us about Cyma Recta, Fascias and Bed Moulds which characterize Spanish Colonial Architecture.
We were all handed sample drawings to trace so that we would “get the feel” for these details and recognize the classic Spanish Colonial Revival design decorations when our eyes sought them out on the buildings we were going to visit
Our first example, often called the most handsome Public Building in the U.S, The Santa Barbara County Court House located at 1100 Anacapa Street occupying up a full block.
After our “hands-on education” tutorial, all forty of us Villagers followed Anthony to the many wonderful examples he had chosen for our tour. As we passed by an Edwards and Plunket building, Anthony explained how this later example showed a less formal application of the style.
On to the stately University Club at 1332 Santa Barbara Street which had been converted from a Victorian to a Spanish Colonial. The new solid construction of the rebuilt structure allowed it to survive the 1925 earthquake
Currently the Club still features some of the exterior and interior Victorian style decoration including wonderful antique furniture.
Crossing the street towards the beautiful Our Lady of Sorrows Church located at the corner of Anacapa and Sola Streets. Built in 1928 after the original Church, located on the corner of State and Figueroa, was completely demolished in the 1925 earthquake. San Francisco Architect Edward Eames used heavy steel beam construction to meet future possible emergencies.
Further along, on Sola Street, we passed an excellent example of the City of Santa Barbara’s commitment to creating beautiful low-cost housing. Then, heading down towards State Street we passed by the entrance of the charming Arlington Theater, also an Edwards and Plunket Design.
There are plans to restore the Arlington Theater to its former grandeur, much like was done for The Granada Theater which is also on State Street, down one block. The Granada Theater is the tallest building in Santa Barbara. It will most likely remain a first and last. Also of note is the beautiful Santa Museum of Art. Anthony informed us that this was originally built as a US Post Office.
Finally, having reached the end of this fascinating walking tour, we would up back where we began, at the Court House, where the Clock was recently restored. For docent tour information of the Court House, click here
Thank you Anthony Grumbine for your enthusiastic and educational tour of our beautiful City! We Villagers are now more able to share the history of our gorgeous Santa Barbara! Thank you Ed Edick and Renee Grubb Village Properties Brokers for your amazing leadership! Thank you Louis Almaraz (fellow realtor at Village Properties) and Jeff Lipshitz for sharing your wonderful photos! Thank you Architect husband, Doug Reeves AIA for designing our home to be our version of Mediterranean Architecture!