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810 De La Vina St.

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Designation Status: Structure of Merit

Assessor Parcel Number: 037-042-014

Historic Name:

Constructed: 1870

Property Description:

The one-story, Italianate style residence with a hipped roof features large overhanging eaves supported by simple brackets. The main entrance is offset to the side comprised of a four panel, solid, wood door with a leaded glass transom. Features a full width porch supported by six square shaped post with simple wood railing with square balusters. The wall exterior is comprised of wide ship lap siding. Features decorative molding over the one-over-one, double-hung, wood windows and door on the front facade.

Architect: unknown

Architectural Style: Italianate

Property Type: Hair salon

Original Use: addition to Grace Methodist Episcopal Church


On June 26, 2019, the Historic Landmarks Commission designated the building a Structure of Merit under the following criteria provided by the Municipal Code, Section 22.22.040.

Criterion A. Its character, interest or value as a significant part of the heritage of the City, the State or the Nation:
The house appears on the 1892 Sanborn Map as an addition to the Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, a brick church constructed in 1869. It is unknown when the brick church was demolished. The City issued a building permit in 1926 to remove a brick party wall on the house and replace with frame. As a city, Santa Barbara underwent massive growth during the 1870’s when Italianate architecture was extremely fashionable on the West Coast. Nearly always built of wood, Santa Barbara’s Italianates portray their strong tie to fellow Victorian styles, while showing their Italian reference through their low sloped roofs, large eave extensions and bold, expressive brackets. Italianate continues to command a prominent place in the look and feel of Santa Barbara’s streetscape. The 1870 Italianate style residence is important to the heritage of Santa Barbara as the details that are found on the building constitute a resource valuable for its ability to exemplify methods of construction, craftsmanship, attention to detail and artistry reflective of the Italianate style. The building illustrates social and aesthetic movements, and conveys a sense of place and time and is a significant part of the heritage of the City.

Criterion D. Its exemplification of a particular architectural style or way of life important to the City, the State, or the Nation:
In the United States, thanks in part to landscape architect Andrew Jackson Downing’s pattern books, Italianate architecture was popular in California from 1870 to 1890. Nationwide, Italianate overshadowed Gothic Revival by 1860, but was curtailed by the financial panic of 1873. By the time the economy had stabilized, Italianate was supplanted by the new Queen Anne style. Like most of California, architectural styles took a while to travel from the eastern United States to Santa Barbara. For this reason, Santa Barbara’s Italianate was at its peak from 1870 to 1880. In Santa Barbara the Italianate houses nearly always had wood siding as their main wall surface, in part due to an abundance of lumber on the west coast. The earlier versions of Italianate usually had very large weatherboards for siding because until 1872, Stearns Wharf had not been built, and all wood had to be floated ashore. One of the chief champions of Santa Barbara’s Italianate was the influential mayor and architect, Peter Barber. Italianate became popular in Santa Barbara thanks largely to one man, Peter Barber, the city’s first professional architect. He arrived here from San Francisco in 1869. A cabinetmaker, he was largely self-trained in architecture. By the time of his death in 1905, he had designed some 140 buildings in the area and, although he worked in other styles, much of his work was Italianate. Several examples of Italianate architecture can be found in the Brinkerhoff Avenue Landmark District as well as dotted throughout upper west side of downtown along Chapala and De La Vina Streets.
The house at 810 De La Vina Street embodies almost all the features that characterize California’s Italianate style including:
• the low-pitched hipped roof; tall, narrow, one-over-one, double hung, wood, windows embellished with crowns of moldings that flare to each side of the window
• overhanging eaves with, decorative brackets
• single story porch with elaborately carved supports and thin columns
• wide, ship-lap siding
• transom window over the front door

Historic Integrity: As illustrated in the 1978 Photograph, the original porch was removed from the building. The porch was restored to the building and compatible with the original architecture is similar to other typical Italianate front porches that are seen on many Italianate houses in Santa Barbara. The 800 block of Santa Barbara has lost most of its original Victorian housing so that it does not have high integrity of setting. However, the house has high historic integrity of location, feeling, design, materials, and association. The building can convey its c. 1870 original appearance.

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