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214 East De La Guerra Street

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Designation Status: Designated City Landmark

Assessor Parcel Number: 031-082-002

Historic Name: Ygnacio House

Constructed: c. 1875

Property Description:

The Ygnacio house embodies the following features that are hallmarks of the Italianate style:
• Blocky architecture, with no curved walls and a symmetrical layout;
• A shallow, hipped roof that helps to set apart the Italianate from the other Victorian styles;
• A small widow’s walk at the center of the roof that provides a place to look out over picturesque vistas. Although the ornate iron railing is no longer existing, the space for the walk remains at the peak of the hipped roof;
• Long, full-width front porch that extends the living area outside;
• Wide shiplap siding;
• Thin, square porch posts with beveled corners and simple, banded square capitals;
• Two-over-two, elongated, wood windows with decorative brackets under the wood window sill;
• Decorative brackets at the corners of the porch; and
• Decorative flat brackets tucked into the corners, a minimalist version of the brackets under the eaves seen on more elaborate examples of the style

Architect: unknown

Architectural Style: Italianate

Property Type: residence

Original Use:


The Ygnacio House is an excellent candidate for City Landmark designation per the following five criteria outlined in the municipal code:

Criterion A. Its character, interest or value as a significant part of the heritage of the City, the State or the Nation
The house is the site where Luisa Ygnacio worked with noted anthropologist Alfred Kroeber and noted ethnologist John Peabody Harrington to document Chumash language, history, folklore, and culture.

Criterion B. Its location as the site of a significant historic event
The interviews and research offered by Luisa Ygnacio to Alfred Kroeber and John P. Harrington documenting Chumash language, history, folklore, and culture at the house constitute a significant historic event.

Criterion C. Its identification with a person or persons who significantly contributed to the culture and development of the City, the State or the Nation;
The house is identified with Luisa Ygnacio, the last Barbareño Chumash speaker, as well as noted anthropologist Alfred Kroeber and noted ethnologist and linguist John Peabody Harrington. In addition to documenting the Chumash language with Luisa Ygnacio in 1923, Harrington also excavated and documented Burton Mound, the site of the Chumash village Syukhtun.
Criterion D. Its exemplification of a particular architectural style or way of life important to the City, the State, or the Nation
The building exemplifies the Italianate style. It is a small version of the style built as a working-class house, rather than the larger Italianate buildings on the Westside of downtown designed for more wealthy patrons. The neighborhood has few remaining working-class cottages from the Victorian era. The house has the character-defining features of the Italianate style in its shiplap siding; thin, square porch posts with beveled corners; two-over-two, elongated, wood windows; and low-sloped, hipped roof.

Criterion G. Its embodiment of elements demonstrating outstanding attention to architectural design, detail, materials and craftsmanship
The thin, square columns with beveled corners; the decorative brackets; the elongated, wood, two-over-two windows with brackets under the windows sills; and wide shiplap siding demonstrate an outstanding attention to details, materials, and craftsmanship that is difficult to replicate and that exemplifies the methods of construction, craftsmanship, attention to detail, and artistry of the Italianate style.

Historic Integrity:
Integrity is the ability of a property to convey its original appearance. There are essential physical features that must be considered to evaluate the integrity of a significant building. The front portion of the building retains most of its original features, with the exception of the iron around the widow’s walk at the peak of the hipped roof. In 1943, the foundation was repaired, and the kitchen and service porch were added. The rear portion has stucco siding and windows that do not reference the Italianate portion of the building. The front portion of the building retains its integrity of location, materials, design, workmanship, feeling, and association. It does not retain integrity of setting, which has been lost through the introduction of parking lots on the east and west sides. Because the street-facing elevation remains intact, it can still convey its period of significance, from 1875, when the Italianate house was constructed, through to 1922, when Luisa Ygnacio lived in the house.


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