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717 719 State St

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Designation Status: Designated City Landmark

Assessor Parcel Number: 037-400-018

Historic Name: White House Building (aka Alexander Building)

Constructed: 1896, 1925, 1934

Property Description:

This two story building is finished in stucco, with the cross gable roof covered in red tile. Stringcourse molding labels six upper story casement windows. The upper story is divided into three bays by parabolic arches. Doric columns accentuate the arch divisions. Windows extend the full length of the lower story, including the recessed entrance.

Architect: Francis W. Wilson; Edwards and Plunkett

Architectural Style: Spanish Colonial Revival

Property Type: Commercial

Original Use: Commercial


Designated City of Santa Barbara Landmark (11/06/1990).

The White House Building is important for its long-term association with significant local architect Francis W. Wilson, architect of the original building design, who had his offices on the second floor from 1897 until 1921. The White House Building is believed to have been his first commission in Santa Barbara, designed in a Renaissance Revival style. Wilson also designed many other notable Santa Barbara buildings, including the old post office, the Central Library, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Southern Pacific Railroad Station Depot. The White House Building's name refers to the White House, a clothing store that occupied the building for many decades during the mid 1900s.

Significant as a City Landmark as per City Council findings (Resolution No. 1-89) by the following criteria:

A. Its character, interest or value as a significant part of the heritage of the City, the State or the Nation; Because the building is associated with Francis W Wilson (architect of many important structures in Santa Barbara such as the post office and the Museum of Art);
C. Its identification with a person or persons (Francis W Wilson) who significantly contributed to the culture and development of the City, the State, or the Nation;
D. Its exemplification of a particular architectural style (Spanish Colonial Revival) or way of life important to the City, the State, or the Nation;
F. Its identification as the creation, design, or work of a person or persons (Francis W Wilson) whose effort significantly influenced the heritage of the City, the State, or the Nation;
G. Its embodiment of elements demonstrating outstanding attention to architectural design, detail, materials and craftsmanship;
I. Its unique location or singular characteristic representing an established and familiar visual feature of a neighborhood.

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