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1407 E Cabrillo Blvd

Designation Status: Designated City Landmark

Assessor Parcel Number: 017-383-002

Historic Name: William E. Clark Estate / "Bellosguardo"

Constructed: 1933-1936

Property Description:

This two-story late 18th century French country house is laid out in a modified "I" plan. A low pitch hipped roof covered in tiles caps the building. The building is made of reinforced concrete sheathed with a thin surface of smooth granite. Fenestration consists of metal frame casement windows. Secondary buildings also stand on site.

Architect: Reginald D. Johnson

Architectural Style:

Property Type: Single Family Residence

Original Use:


Designated City of Santa Barbara Landmark (03/22/1994).

The Clark Estate is located on the site of "Swetete," an important native American settlement. In 1904, Mr. and Mrs. William Miller Graham purchased the property and commissioned a large home to be built on the bluff. Francis W. Wilson, a significant local architect, designed the home as an "Italian villa." In 1923, the property was sold to former US Senator William A. Clark of Montana. In 1928, Huguette Clark, daughter of Senator Clark, offered Santa Barbara a gift of $50,000 to create a lake at the "Bird refuge" across from the Clark Estate. Many improvements were made, including designs by famed landscape architect Ralph Stevens. In 1933, Mrs. Clark demolished the main existing dwelling, and contracted architect Reginald D. Johnson to design a new dwelling in French Country style.

City Council Findings:
a) It has character, interest or value as a significant part of the heritage of the City, as the property contains both a Native American site and a grand estate;
b) It identifies with persons who significantly contributed to the culture and development of the City because the current owner and resident, Huguette M. Clark, gave the City of Santa Barbara the money to develop the salt pond across Cabrillo Boulveard into a freshmwater lake and recreation area, named the "Andree Clark Bird Refuge," and imposed conditions to the gift prohibiting certain activities and structures, and it identifies with persons who significantly contributed to the development of the Nation because it was the home of Senator William A. Clark, a "copper baron" from Montana;
c) It has some of the only remaining examples of their architectural type designed by Francis W. Wilson, the architect for Mr. and Mrs. William Miller Graham, the previous owners of the estate, and by Reginald D. Johnson, the architect for the Clark family's buildings;
d) It exemplifies the architectural style of a late 18th century French country estate and exemplifies a way of life important to the City, as a summer home for wealthy persons;
e. It is identified as the design and work of Francis W. Wilson, Reginald Johnson, and O.J. Kenyon, persons whose efforts have significantly influenced the heritage of the City;
f) It embodies elements demonstrating outstanding attention to architectural design, detail, materials, or craftsmanship;
g) It has a unique location on the bluffs at Booth Point, above Cabrillo Boulevard, and has singular physical characteristics representing an established and familiar visual feature of the East Beach neighborhood;
h. It has integrity as a partially natural environment that strongly contributes to the well-being of the people of the City, due to the extensive and well-maintained grounds;
i. It has the potential of yielding significant information of archaeological interest.

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