512 North Milpas Street
Designation Status: Listed on the Potential Historic Resources List
Assessor Parcel Number: 031-241-039
A single story stucco building with a gabled terra cotta tile roof whose peak faces the side, rather than the front of the building. In the upper portion of the front façade is a circular air vent. A narrow ledge, featuring wooden sign with the name of the store written across, divides the stucco exterior of the upper half of the building and the lower adobe brick half. A simple wooden door sits to the left of the store front. The right features a fixed window with an aluminum frame sitting above a projecting adobe brick veneer planter.
Architect: Wythe, Blaine and Olson
Architectural Style: Spanish Colonial Revial
Property Type: Commercial
Original Use: Cleaning and Dying Shop
The City of Santa Barbara establishes historic significance as provided by the Municipal Code, Section 22.22.040. Any historic building that meets one or more of the eleven criteria established for a City Landmark or a City Structure of Merit can be considered significant:
Criterion D. Its exemplification of a particular architectural style or way of life important to the City, the State, or the Nation:
The building is one of seven storefronts in a row designed by the architects, Wythe, Blaine and Olson. The Architect and Engineer issued by the Plans and Plantings Committee features the block in 1926 (see 1926 photograph below.) The original permit for the buildings on the East Side of North Milpas Street included 12 storefronts. The building exemplifies the Spanish Colonial Revival style which emphasize the smooth, uninterrupted stucco walls, terra cotta tiles, and recessed front entryways; each interpreted and redefined by local architects or regions in their own oeuvre of the form, massing, and decorative treatments. In Santa Barbara, examples of Spanish Colonial Revival style can be found throughout the City as one of its most defining styles of architecture. This building is an excellent example of a small, commercial interpretation of the Spanish Colonial Revival style, which became an important part of Santa Barbara’s heritage in the 1920s, when the City deliberately transformed its architecture and look from an ordinary western style town into a romantic Spanish Colonial Revival/Mediterranean style city. This transformation was the result of the planning vision of a number of Santa Barbara citizens in the early 1920s with the founding of the Santa Barbara Community Arts Association, which urged that the town identify its individual character and then use planning principles to develop it. As an original 1925 Spanish Colonial Revival style building, the building qualifies as a Structure of Merit under criterion D.
Historic Integrity: The streetscape is almost completely intact with a high historical integrity of setting as this is one of several Spanish Colonial Revival style buildings on 500-600 block of North Milpas Street along with Commercial Spanish Colonial Revival style buildings that can convey a 1920s streetscape. The original permit for the buildings on the East Side of North Milpas Street included 12 storefronts. The storefront has been altered with the stone veneer and planters. However, it is still a part of the row of 1925 storefronts so that it has historic integrity of location, feeling, setting, and association. The street can convey its 1925 original appearance.