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1515 De La Vina St.

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Designation Status: Structure of Merit

Assessor Parcel Number: 027-221-011

Historic Name: Rodriguez Residence

Constructed: 1900

Property Description:

Queen Anne style residence, asymmetrical massing with the main gable on partial hip roof, and a smaller gable below the main. There is a rectangular fixed window in the main gable end. There are fish scale shingles on the gables with ornate wood decor on gable ends. Dentils line the cornices. A low shed roof recesses the entrance porch and is approached by a small staircase which is supported by intricately carved posts, and spandrels which are edged with gingerbread detailing. The main façade features a bay comprised of one-over one, double-hung wood windows. There is a minimally visible rear addition behind the building.

Architect: unknown

Architectural Style: Queen Anne

Property Type: Single Family Residence

Original Use: SFR


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 minimally altered 1900 Queen Anne style building is important to the heritage of Santa Barbara as few styles of architecture allow for the exuberant level of detail found in the Queen Anne style. The culmination of Victorian taste, this style shows the eclectic range found in the new era and the ability for manufacturers of the time to distribute these details throughout the country. Thanks to these factors, a variety of ornate columns, spindle work, and elaborate shingles adorn Queen Anne houses in Santa Barbara.

Criterion D. Its exemplification of a particular architectural style or way of life important to the City, the State, or the Nation:
Queen Anne architecture was born in the later part of the Victorian era which included Gothic Revival, Italianate, Stick, and Second Empire styles. In the 1870s, in England, architect Richard Norman Shaw introduced the Queen Anne residential design. It was intended to evoke domestic architecture of some 200 years earlier. The British public loved it. In the United States, our own first centennial was then approaching and at the huge Philadelphia Centennial Exhibit in 1876, two model houses were built in the Queen Anne style.

Americans immediately took to the style. Massively popular in America, Queen Anne spread across the nation at a rapid pace. Much of its success was due to its affordable wood construction (as opposed to the stone and brick of its contemporary, the Romanesque style), as well as its adaptability. Although it had little to do with its name-sake Anne of Great Britain (1665-1714), Queen Anne architecture did look to the past. Whether it was ancient Rome with its swags, garlands, and high-classical columns, or its richly patterned walls of the earlier High Victorian Gothic, Queen Anne combined a wide variety of architecture features into one decorative whole. Santa Barbara’s Lower and Upper West Side neighborhoods, running along Chapala, De La Vina and Bath Streets, are dotted with elegant Queen Annes.

The house has the following character-defining elements of the Queen Anne style:

Form: The asymmetrical massing with the most complex hipped roof with lower cross-gables and steeply pitched roof.

Gable, Cornice and Eave Details: The triangular shape of the gable is filled with fishscale patterns of shingles. The roof extends in a decorative ½ hexagon over the gable peak.

Porch Columns: Porch columns and balustrades are elaborate and turned with ornate spandrels and spindle work at the top.

Doors: Glass is an elaborate feature of the main entrance door with tow elongated glass panes over two panels.

Windows: Windows are one-over-one, double-hung wood. The house has a distinctive bay window on the front façade.

Criterion G. Its embodiment of elements demonstrating outstanding attention to architectural design, detail, materials and craftsmanship:
The Queen Anne residence at 1515 De la Vina embodies elements that demonstrate outstanding attention to architectural design, details, materials and craftsmanship beginning with the embellished wood work and fish scale shingles in the gable ends, the arched spandrels on the porch top, and the ornate turned porch columns, the ornate porch balustrade, and the bay window with one-over-one wood windows.

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 1900 original appearance. The rear addition is minimally visible from the street and does not impact the building’s significance.

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