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1110 North Milpas Street

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Designation Status: Structure of Merit

Assessor Parcel Number: 029-202-024

Historic Name:

Constructed: Before 1925

Property Description:

The parcel features a single-family house and a semi-detached garage/utility room wing. Because the house is set towards the rear of a long narrow parcel it was difficult to view from the public right-of-way. The wood frame Spanish Colonial Revival style house and semi-detached garage/utility wing feature one and two story elements. The house has a complex footprint with projecting wings on its street façade (south elevation) facing Milpas Street and is capped by a complex gable roof covered in terra cotta tiles. Fenestration includes primarily of wood framed multi-light casement and fixed window types. The street façade is composed of a number of shallow recessions and projections. Because the lot slopes from the rear of the property towards North Milpas Street, the two-story house appears to be only one-story in height when viewed from the street. At the west end of the façade a one-bay garage/utility room wing with double tongue-and groove type doors is integrated into a two-story wing capped by a front-facing gable. The projecting wing is flanked by a recessed wing capped by a side gable roof. Set at the intersection of the projecting wing and the recessed wing the entrance is accessed via a set of steps that lead down to the driveway. At the top of the steps a staircase with a metal railing leading to a wood gate set in an arched opening in a plastered wall that surrounds a small entrance yard.


Architectural Style: Spanish Colonial Revival

Property Type: Single Family Residence

Original Use: Single-family residence


The property was originally found significant in the Lower Riviera Survey accepted by the HLC in 2013. 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 D: Its exemplification of a particular architectural style or way of life important to the City, the State, or the Nation: It is an example of the Spanish Colonial Revival style which emphasize the interplay of cubic volumes, patios, pergolas, and verandas; 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. There are many c. 1920-1930s small, single-family, Spanish Colonial Revival style homes throughout the City. This building is an example of a small, residential 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. In addition, this bungalow court is an exemplification of a way of life as a form of affordable, low density rental housing that was popular in Southern California from the 1910st through the 1930s. As an original building designed in the style important to the identity of Santa Barbara, the building qualifies under criterion D. Furthermore, because the house is set on a narrow parcel it employs the type of compact plan often found on houses built in the Lower Riviera Neighborhood during this period.
Criterion G. Its embodiment of elements demonstrating outstanding attention to architectural design, detail, materials and craftsmanship: The house employs many of the character-defining elements of the Spanish Colonial Revival style, including an emphasis on expansive planer wall surfaces, gabled roofs covered in terra cotta tiles, and a restrained use of architectural embellishments, such metalwork railings. Notable features of the house include its one-bay garage integrated into the footprint of the house and a small walled courtyard that shelters the front entrance.
Historic Integrity: The building retains 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 c. 1924 original appearance.
Works Cited: The building was originally surveyed as part of the Lower Riviera Survey.

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