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1209 De La Vina St.

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Designation Status: Structure of Merit

Assessor Parcel Number: 039-171-010

Historic Name: Shoemaker Cottage

Constructed: 1871

Property Description:

One-story, Italianate style residence, features a symmetrical façade with a boxlike footprint with a hipped roof. Below the eaves are carefully placed curved, wooden brackets on a thick cornice. The first floor fenestration consists of two-over-two elongated windows. The centrally located, four panel door with the rounded panels is deeply recessed to the wall plane with a transom window above it surrounded by with thick wood trim. The walls are clad in shiplap siding. There is an ashlar cut sandstone wall along the streetscape.

Architect: unknown

Architectural Style: Italianate

Property Type: Architect's Office

Original Use: Residence


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:
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 minimally altered 1871 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 of 1871 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 embodies almost all the features that characterize California’s Italianate style including:
• low-pitched hipped roof
• overhanging eaves with decorative brackets
• tall, narrow, two-over-two, double hung, wood, windows
• Four panel door with rounded panels capped with a transom window
• wide, ship-lap siding
Criterion G. Its embodiment of elements demonstrating outstanding attention to architectural design, detail, materials and craftsmanship:
The building embodies elements that demonstrate an outstanding attention to design, detail, materials, and craftsmanship with the decorative curved brackets under the eaves, the elongated, two-over-two, wood windows, and the centrally located, four rounded panel wood front door capped with a transom window, which all add a defining touch to the Italianate style.

Historic Integrity: The building retains most of its original features and most of the surrounding neighborhood is intact so that it has high historic integrity of location, feeling, setting, design, materials, workmanship and association. The building can convey its c. 1871 original appearance.

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