202 East Pedregosa Street
Designation Status: Structure of Merit
Assessor Parcel Number: 027-042-025
Historic Name: Gilbert House
This house is an early example of the Craftsman style in Santa Barbara and its hipped roof indicate its membership in the rarer subtype of that style. The house exhibits hallmark Craftsman style elements such as open eaves with decorative exposed rafters; a hipped dormer with three short, double-hung windows; and wood shingle siding.
Molded trim surrounds the double hung windows and the upper sashes of some of the windows contain ornamental panes in a diamond motif. Flared roofs over the entrance porch and the bay window on the west end are notable features. A tall hedge and wrought iron front gate separate the narrow front lawn from the public sidewalk.
Architectural Style: Craftsman
On June 26, 2019, the Historic Landmarks Commission building qualifies to be designated 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 single-family, two-story Craftsman style house was built in 1902-3 for prominent businessman, Edward A. Gilbert, and is located between State and Anacapa Streets on Pedregosa Street. “Pedregosa” is Spanish for “stony” or “rocky” ground or terrain which described the area surrounding the Mission. Pedregoso Creek was the original name for what is today called Mission Creek. Alluvial rocks and sandstone deposits characterized the natural landscape of the area and served as a popular source for building walls, hitching posts and other structures, many of which remain in the Upper East neighborhood of Santa Barbara. The Craftsman style building retains all of its character defining features that identify it with the architecture of the California Crfatsman tradition at the turn-of-the-century. The Craftsman house was an important and integral component of the Arts and Crafts Movement in America and was one of the most popular and enduring in Amercian architecture. As an important example of the Craftsman tradition, it is a significat contributor to the architectural heritage of the City. Intent on rekindling the hand craft in the art of building, Craftsman architecture played a pivotal role in the architecture of the early 1900’s. As a style, it has left behind a legacy of beautiful and expressive details – especially in wood – that continue to inspire architects, builders, and home owners to this very day.
Criterion D. Its exemplification of a particular architectural style or way of life important to the City, the State or the Nation:
Reacting to the loss of human craft found in the Industrial Revolution, the Arts and Crafts Movement formed in England and soon spread to the United States. It became known as the Craftsman Movement in the United States and utilized local, natural materials, simplicity of forms, originality, and hand-crafted detail. In 1901, the first issue of the The Crafstman magazine was published by Gustav Stickley, a strong proponent of Craftsman furniture, textiles, and architecture. Architects such as Greene and Greene in Pasadena, and David Owen Dryden in San Diego championed the Craftsman style, helping it to become the most popular style of the early 1900’s.
The Craftsman Movement embodied great variety with the Arts and Crafts English antecedents, to homes with an aesthetic reminiscent of oriental wood joinery, to the Craftsman Bungalow style which ennobled modest homes for a rapidly expanding American middle class.
In Santa Barbara the Craftsman house enjoyed a popularity that can still be seen today. From the small bungalow to the large, almost grandiose house, Craftsman architecture thrived in Santa Barbara. Craftsman architecture is found in the neighborhoods surrounding downtown, but the Bungalow Haven District is home to the largest intact concentration of Craftsman bungalows in Santa Barbara. The house shows character-defining features of the Craftsman style.
• Cornice and Eave Details: Instead of intricate cornice moldings that decorated the eaves of Victorian era houses, the Craftsman house has wide exposed eaves with rafter tails adding subtle details to the simple form.
• Doors: The proportions of the Craftsman door are wide as seen in this panel over panel door.
• Windows: The Craftsman house demonstrates divided lights in the upper sashes in diamond shapes
• Wall material: The house has the Craftsman character-defining wood shingle siding.
As an excellent example of Craftsman style, the building qualifies as a Structure of Merit under criterion D.
Criterion G. Its embodiment of elements demonstrating outstanding attention to architectural design, detail, materials and craftsmanship: The details that are found on the building constitute a resource valuable for its ability to exemplify methods of construstuction, craftsmanship, attention to detail and artistry reflective of the Craftsman style so that it qualifies as a Structure of Merit under Criterion G. The house demonstrates decorative wood work of the brackets and porch columns, wood work of shingle siding on the 2nd floor, the divided light windows in the upper sashes, the wood windows made from old growth wood, that is durable and termite resistant, with profiles that play with the light and shadow on the house, and the expressive entrance with the large decorative divided light window and under the expressive front porch.
The house is in excellent condition, and well maintained with little alteration, though there was an addition in 1911. The house was converted in the 1950s to a convent for the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary to house teachers for Notre Dame school before reverting to its original use as a single family residence. Despite such changes in use, the integrity of the house remains undiminished and it retains integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, allowing it still to convey its original appearance. The building stands as an excellent, and somewhat rarer, example of the early Craftsman style in Santa Barbara.
City of Santa Barbara Architectural and Historic Resources Survey, February 22, 1980.
Graffy, Neal. Street Names of Santa Barbara. 2nd ed. 2015.
Grumbine, Anthony. City of Santa Barbara, Styles Guide, Craftsman style.
Tompkins, Walker A. Santa Barbara Neighborhoods. 1989.
Prepared by Jay Carlander, Historic Consultant