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914 916 Anacapa St

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Designation Status: Designated City Landmark

Assessor Parcel Number: 029-291-024

Historic Name: Cota-Knox House

Constructed: 1871

Property Description:

Small one-story, brick building with two double-hung windows on either side of centrally placed glass door. The basically symmetrical plan and the symmetrical street façade represent a conservative carry-over from the eastern sections of the country. The low pitched shed roof, hidden behind the front and side brick parapets, and the original small wood entrance porch (now removed) were highly fashionable feautures of the mid ot late 19th century.

There are three frame additions to the building: one with shiplap siding, and two with vertical siding. The building stands in good company with the Pico Adobe behind, the Lobero theater across the street, and Julia Morgan's Lobero Building (Margaret Baylor Inn) to the north.


Architectural Style:

Property Type: Office

Original Use: residence


Designated City of Santa Barbara Landmark (07/18/1995).

City Council Findings:
a. The Cota-Knox House has character, interest and value that make it a significant part of the heritage of Santa Barbara;
b. Its identification with Jose Lobero, the Cota family, and Dr. Samuel Knox, persons who significantly contributed to the culture and development of the City;
c. It exemplifies a particular architectural style and way of life important to the city;
d. It exemplifies the best remaining architectural type in its neighborhood;
e. The original embodiment of elements demonstrates outstanding attention to architectural design, detail, materials, and craftmanship;
f. It has a unique location and singular physical characteristics representing an established and familiar visual feature of the neighborhood

Historic Resources Inventory:
The office building is considered the oldest brick building in downtown Santa Barbara. Originally a residence, it was built by Jose Lobero for the use of his mother-in-law, Francesca Cota, after her adobe residence was demolished when Acacapa St. was put through. Jose Lobero, one of the most interesting personalities of late 19th century Santa Barbara, built the original Lobero Theater, Santa Barbara's first opera house. The present Lobero Theater is on the same site and is located directly across Anacapa Street from the Cota-Knox house.
In 1875, the Cota-Knox house and the small Buenaventuro Pico Adobe to the rear were purchased by Dr. Samuel Budd Page Knox. Knox, who had been a surgeon in the Civil War, was born in Brownsville, Pa. He came to Santa Barbara in 1875. In addition to his own private medical practice he was the surgeon in charge of the Santa Barbara County Hospital between the years 1879-1884; 1890-1891; and again in 1893. After the death of Dr. Knox the building remained in the hands of his daughter Mrs. Gertrude Knox Feeley. In 1954 Mrs. Feeley renovated the house and changed it into an office building. In late 1964, the house along with the Pico Adobe were acquired by T. Suski. Quentin Richard bought the properties from the Suskis. A few years later, at the end of 1975, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation acquired the properties as part of a gift and sale arrangement. The trust owns to Cota-Knox.

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