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15 East Padre Street

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Designation Status: Structure of Merit

Assessor Parcel Number: 025-242-013

Historic Name: Fraundorf Residence

Constructed: 1923

Property Description:

The structure at 15 East Padre Street is an H-shaped, single-story, flat roofed residence designed in the Italian Mediterranean style. The front elevation consist of a recessed center plane flanked by two wings, extending forward towards the street. The roofline consists of a simple, undecorated cornice, resulting in a seamless transition from roof to the smooth, planar, stucco walls. Three triptychs of narrow, arched windows appear within the stucco walls. One on each exterior wing and another on the center plane, just left of the arched doorway. The space to the right of the centrally placed doorway features a flight of stairs which provide access to the roof. The building has been altered and now features two large, square posts between the wings, before the entryway. Ornamentation includes symmetrically place, circular vents beneath the roofline and iron lamps on the new square posts. A sandstone wall encompasses the perimeter of the property.

Architect: Unkown

Architectural Style: Italian Mediterranean

Property Type: Residence

Original Use: Residence


The City of Santa Barbara establishes historic significance as provided by the Municipal Code, Section 22.22.040. On June 26, 2019, the Historic Landmarks Commission designated the building a Structure Merit based on the following 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 at 15 East Padre is an excellent example of the Italian Mediterranean style. An important part of Santa Barbara’s architecture, the Italian Mediterranean pre-dates the Spanish Colonial Revival and was key to Santa Barbara’s spirit as the new American Riviera. Having both a climate and geography similar to the coastal hill-towns of the Italian Riviera, Santa Barbara embraced the Italian Villa as architecture and garden design well suited to
the Santa Barbara lifestyle. Architectural motifs and materials associated with the style, such as an emphasis on expanses of planer wall surface, a simple and undecorated cornice line, windows recessed into the wall plane with a stucco return and no trim, a deeply recessed doorway and restrained use of architectural embellishments can be found on the house.

Criterion D. Its exemplification of a particular architectural style or way of life important to the City, the State, or the Nation:
With increased leisure travel to Europe during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, patrons began to request architecture strongly based on particular regions of the Mediterranean. The Italian villa was seen as a perfect model for the American country house, as a counter to the Gothic-related forms of the Queen Anne and Shingle styles. With more advanced printing techniques, as well as carefully studied drawings and photographs, architects were able to base their designs on highly accurate academic books of Italian architecture. This contrasts with the earlier American Italian movement, the Victorian Italianate, whose source was primarily pattern books that were loosely based on Italian models.

In Santa Barbara, Italian Mediterranean fit well with the Mediterranean-like climate and was easily mixed with the growing popularity of Spanish-Mediterranean, as well as the thriving Mission Revival architecture. There are a few examples of commercial Italian Mediterranean style buildings in downtown Santa Barbara, as well as many large homes in the Upper East neighborhood and on the Riviera. The house employs the following character-defining elements of the Italian Mediterranean style:
• The bilateral symmetry of the form.
• Emphasis on expansive planer wall surfaces.
• Windows recessed at the wall plane with a stucco return with no trim.
• The deeply recessed entry door beneath an archway.
Historic Integrity: In the 1979 survey the building was noted as having terra-cotta tiles line the cornice. These have been removed however, the building retains most of its original features so that it has high historic integrity of location, feeling, setting, design, materials, workmanship and association. The building can convey its 1923 original appearance.

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