235 West Micheltorena Street
Designation Status: Structure of Merit
Assessor Parcel Number: 039-061-001
Constructed: c. late 1800s, 1st permit 1920, cut in doors 1925
Two-story, vernacular style building. A low sloped roof hides behind a false front, typical of old-western architecture. The building features wide, overhung eaves supported by angle-cut rafter tails. The second story features non-original sliding windows beneath decorative fabric awnings. The first story, however, retains original four-paned windows surrounded by a thick wooden border. A non-original full-length, glass-panel door at the front entry of the building welcomes incoming visitors. The exterior is clad in weatherboard siding.
Architectural Style: Vernacular
Property Type: Neighborhood Store
Original Use: Store & Residence
One June 26, 2019, the Historic Landmarks Commission designated the building a Structure of Merit based on 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 corner store at 235 West Micheltorena is one of the few surviving reminders of a time when locally owned corner stores dotted the streets of Santa Barbara. Built in the late 1800s by Chinese labor and repaired in the early 20th century, the corner store is a relic of an era of the corner grocery store. The local neighborhood grocery store had most anything you needed in the spur of a moment, from a bag of sugar to a pack of diapers. Their convenient location and extensive hours of operation made corner stores a linchpin to the neighborhoods and people they served. The small businesses were often family owned and provided a more personal touch in their customer interactions. Frequent customers came to rely on their nearby corner stores to welcome them with a warm greetings and provide them with personal attention. Sadly, the era of the corner store could not last. As major chain brands became the dominant distributor of grocery items, the small businesses were pushed out of the market and forced to close their doors. Today, these few surviving corner stores serve as a sentimental reminder of days when the nearby mom and pop shops flourished and served the people of their neighborhood with a sense of pride and purpose. They remain inherently unique in their value and character of their neighborhoods.
Historic Integrity: The building retains some of its original construction materials, including its framing and siding, however vinyl slider windows replaced the original windows. Its original plan has not been significantly obscured by later additions. The building retains its original location, feeling, setting, design, and association as a corner store. The building can convey its 1920 original appearance.