Local Treasures

Local Treasures

September 18 – November 12, 2021
The Architectural Foundation Gallery

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is pleased to present Local Treasures, an exhibition of artworks by thirty artists who have exhibited at the Architectural Foundation Gallery during the past seven years. The exhibition runs from Saturday, September 18th through November 12th, 2021. The public is invited to drop by on the opening day, September 18th from 1-4 (masks and social distancing required); and for the gala Closing Reception with the Artists, Friday, November 12, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Local Treasures honors the extraordinary quality, diversity, and vitality of the artists whose work has recently graced the walls of the Architectural Foundation Gallery. Initiated during the 1990s, the Gallery exhibited watercolor paintings by local architects of Santa Barbara buildings. Later, the Gallery committee expanded its mission to present exhibitions of contemporary art, architecture, and design.  Throughout the pandemic, following all COVID-19 protocols, the Gallery has maintained its schedule of exhibitions with the support of dedicated volunteers.  

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara has been dedicated to expanding our community’s appreciation of the built environment since 1983. The AFSB Gallery is located in the historic Acheson House at the corner of Garden and East Victoria Streets in Santa Barbara. Regular gallery hours are Saturdays from 1:00 to 4:00 pm and weekdays by appointment.

The exhibition will be installed in a celebratory salon style (works of different sizes and media will hang next to and above each another), creating dynamic groupings on the Gallery’s walls.  Two-dimensional work including an abstract print by Tony Askew, a collage by Dug Uyesaka, and plein air paintings by Libby Smith and Nina Ward will be complemented by several reliefs—a surreal box construction by Michael Long and a geometric structure in styrene by Marilyn Helsenrott-Hochhauser.  A weaving by Minga Opazo and a screen print by Claudia Borfiga will join photographs by Sara Yerkes, Jeffrey Sippress, Pat McGinnis and Matt Straka, as well as a sewn paper composition by architect Cass Ensberg and a hard-edge, environmental painting by Cynthia Martin.  Two husband/wife duos—printmakers Siu and Don Zimmerman and painters Judy and Warner Nienow will also be featured.

August: The Architecturally Macabre Book Club

August: The Architecturally Macabre Book Club


Hosted by AFSB Vice President, Selinda Tuttle.

“Personally, I prefer to read books—fiction or non-fiction—that feature the city as a character,” says the book club’s curator, AFSB Vice President Selinda Tuttle. “The only thing cooler than reading a book that reckons with a city is being able to talk about that book with people who find it just as worthy of conversation.”

August’s Book:
The Pillars of the Earth
by Ken Follet

Register at Facebook for this live video event. 

Join the private Facebook group (same name) to interact with more book lovers!

Happy Reading!

Postcard from The Past

Postcard from The Past

Vintage Card Leads Writer Down Rabbit Hole

Credit: Betsy J. Green
By: Betsy J. Green

Address: 823 East Haley Street

Originally Published in The Santa Barbara Independent

Link to original article here: https://www.independent.com/2021/07/22/postcard-from-the-past/

You never know what you might find when you open a wall in an old house. Construction work on the home at 823 East Haley Street uncovered a 1911 postcard. How or why the postcard was in the wall will probably remain a mystery, but when I saw a photo of the card posted on Facebook, I knew I had to dive down the research rabbit hole.

Way back when, Milpas Street was the edge of development on the Eastside of Santa Barbara. There were some scattered homes, the Franklin School at the corner of Milpas and Montecito, and a brick factory at Cota and Milpas. The main route to the Eastside was the streetcar that ran along Haley Street from State Street to Quarantina. By the 1920s, the tracks ran in front of this home to Milpas. The tracks are still visible when the street is being repaired.

Stephen and Harriet Naylor built this cozy home in 1901 and lived in it as the decades passed and their family grew. Naylor was an Englishman who immigrated to the United States in the 1850s. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War and was taken prisoner by the Confederates. After settling in Santa Barbara in the 1890s, he was active in veterans’ organizations.

Credit: Courtesy

A Home and a Barn

Naylor was a jack-of-all-trades: deliveryman, grocery store owner, and an active member of the East Side Improvement Club. The family sold hay and ducks and chickens at the home, which shows the rural nature of the area at that time. They also rented out some of their rooms.

The Naylors’ daughter Edith married Frank B. Reily in 1890, and they raised their family here. Two of their sons served in the armed forces during World War I. The family probably hung a flag with two large stars in the front window of the home to represent their sons in the military.

Fortunately, both sons survived the war and the 1918-1919 flu pandemic. One of the sons — Claude Reily — the author of the postcard, later opened an ironwork shop at 423 North Salsipuedes. His father managed the shop.

Robert Escobar, circa 1945. | Credit: Courtesy

Attention to Details​

Claude Reily was a well-respected member of the community. “He has never feared that laborious effort which must always precede ascendancy in the business world and has many friends whose esteem he has won and retained by reason of his high principles and fine personal qualities” (History of Santa Barbara County, California, Michael James Phillips, 1927).

This Queen Anne cottage-style home is very similar to the home at 223 East Victoria that I wrote about in my March 2020 column, which was built at the same time. There are probably numerous other Santa Barbara homes built in this style.

In 1943, the Reilys sold their family home to the second owners — the Eliseo and Christina Escobar family from Stockdale, Texas. The home has remained in the family to this day. The descendants living in the home are Robert Escobar, Martha Fragosa, and John Fragosa. They have fond memories of visiting their grandparents here and attending Christmas parties. 

Credit: Betsy J. Green

There is a sandstone hitching post in front of the home. The number of these posts has dwindled over the years. A count conducted in 1942 turned up 265 hitching posts in our city. By 1975, there were only about 160. And today? I asked S.B. urban historian Nicole Hernandez. She told me that we don’t really know the present number. She suggested that counting/locating hitching posts might be a good project for a local group to undertake.

The home’s owners say they appreciate the generous 10-foot-high ceilings and the convenient location of the house. They are especially proud of the hitching post and told me that they occasionally hear people playing with the iron ring to make a ringing sound. It is a sound that brings back echoes of the past in Santa Barbara.

Please do not disturb the home’s residents.

Airplane Bungalow on East Victoria

Airplane Bungalow on East Victoria

Older Home with a Newer Address

By: Betsy J. Green

Address: 610 East Victoria Street

Originally Published in The Santa Barbara Independent

Link to original article here: https://www.independent.com/2021/06/17/airplane-bungalow-on-east-victoria/

As I dig into the history of interesting homes here in Santa Barbara, I sometimes discover homes with addresses that were changed because the house was moved. The home featured here, however, had a change of address, but not a change of location.

The cozy bungalow at 610 East Victoria Street has belonged to the John and Cheri McKinney family since 1993. The home originally had an address on Salsipuedes Street — number 1230. The address was changed in 1989, apparently at the owners’ request. It may have been because Victoria is easier to spell, or because Salsipuedes means “get out if you can” in Spanish. According to Neal Graffy’s book Street Names of Santa Barbara, the street got its name because the southern end was a swampy area.

A Home and a Barn

Oscar William Massee and his wife, Emma, built the home in 1912 for $1,000. Their property included a barn with a hayloft. E.J. Moody was the contractor. 

Massee was a respected plumber. “Fully cognizant of conditions in the modern commercial world and possessing the energy and resourcefulness necessary to cope with them, Oscar William Massee has become one of the successful businessmen of Santa Barbara … [together with his wife,] their attractive home has been the scene of many enjoyable social events.” —History of Santa Barbara County, California, Michael James Phillips, 1927. The local paper added, “Mr. Massee’s shop at 9 East Cota Street has a complete stock and all equipment for doing plumbing and fitting with dispatch.”

The home probably contained top-of-the-line plumbing fixtures. A 1912 book about plumbing lists the five most popular materials used at that time: porcelain, enameled iron, vitreous ware, marble, and soapstone. Surprisingly, porcelain was considered the most expensive.

In the 1940s, Ellen M. Erving, a nurse with the Visiting Nurses Association, was the owner of the home. In 2010, her grandson and his wife knocked on the front door and explained that he had lived in the house as a boy. The McKinneys showed the couple around the home and gave them some ceramic knobs from the attic as souvenirs.

The McKinneys and Steve Dowty are founding members of Santa Barbara’s Bungalow Haven Neighborhood Association, located between the Santa Barbara Bowl and Alameda Park. The McKinneys are keen to preserve their home’s character. Cheri said, “We did a lot of research in bungalow books and magazines and finally settled on the warm complementary accent colors [on the exterior] to add a little historic feel and emphasis to the interesting detailing and features of the house.” Their goal is to avoid the “bungled bungalow.”

Attention to Details​

The McKinneys appreciate the Douglas fir wainscoting in the living room and the leaded-glass windows, and they have even preserved the push-button wall switches, which pre-date the toggle light switches that are so common today. The toggle wall switch, which allows you to flip lights on and off, was not invented until 1917. The original knob-and-tube wiring in the house has been updated. The couple’s attention to detail even extends to the heads of screws in the home. They use screw heads with a single slot. Phillips-head screws were not invented until the 1930s.

Some of the earliest bungalows in the Santa Barbara area were built in 1895 near the Miramar hotel complex. Bungalows are generally one to one-and-a-half stories, often with wide front porches. The 610 East Victoria home, with its small gabled dormer, was sometimes called an airplane bungalow, because the dormer resembled the cockpit of an early plane.

The McKinneys have enjoyed their home’s location near Santa Barbara High School and the Santa Barbara Bowl. Cheri said, “Our children, budding entrepreneurs all the way, learned to schedule their lemonade sales only on concert nights.” Their son was on the high school baseball team, and the team would often come to their home for a barbeque before games.

Please do not disturb the residents of 610 East Victoria Street.

World War I Romance on Anacapa Street

World War I Romance on Anacapa Street​

American Colonial Home in Santa Barbara Built in 1920

By: Betsy J. Green

Address: 1924 Anacapa Street

Originally Published in The Santa Barbara Independent

Link to original article here: https://www.independent.com/2021/06/02/world-war-i-romance-on-anacapa-street/

World War I was over, they were married six months later, and the next year, it was time to build their first home. Lieutenant Leland Morris Crawford was a young attorney from Santa Paula, California. In 1917, he was in the U.S. Army, and training at Camp Lewis near Tacoma, Washington, and fell in love with Mae Elizabeth McCormack, a young lady who lived nearby. 

He was in Belgium on November 11, 1918, the day that Armistice was declared. He and his men were poised for an attack at 9:45 in the morning. At 9:30, they got word that the war was over, and they breathed a sigh of relief.

It took a while to get the American troops back home after the war had ended. Lt. Crawford returned in May 1919. He married the young lady in Tacoma and resigned his commission. His bride was a graduate of Stanford University, and the daughter of a successful Tacoma merchant.

They settled in Santa Barbara and looked for a suitable location for their first home. They found a lot on upper Anacapa Street, just down from Mission Street. It’s not clear if the Crawfords hired a local architect, because the 1920 building permit index only lists the name of the builder. He was Elmer J. Moody, the father of the Moody sisters, who designed cottages in the 1930s. The estimated cost for the home was $4,500.

Vintage Photos Are a Treasure

Leland and Mae Crawford’s wedding photo. | Courtesy of Leland Crawford III

When I research old houses, I always look for vintage photos, but they’re not easy to find. This time, I got lucky. I managed to find the grandson of Leland Morris Crawford, who sent me some photos of his grandparents.

The relatives and descendants of former owners of your home are some of the best sources of old photos. One way to find them is by checking genealogy websites. In fact, one chapter in my book Discovering the History of Your House is titled, “Take a Genealogist to Lunch.”

Most current owners of older homes love to find old photos of their home or the families who lived there years ago. If you have old family photos of a former home, why not send a copy to the current homeowner? You could make someone very happy. 

Leland Morris Crawford was a successful attorney and also served as deputy coroner. Mae was active in local groups such as the American Association of University Women and was a charter member of the Assistance League. The Crawfords had three children when they lived in the home. To accommodate their growing family, they built a large addition on the back of the home in 1929. They lived in the home until about 1934, when they moved to a home on Junipero Plaza.

After the Crawfords moved out, a series of families occupied the home until the mid-1960s when Neil and Dorothy J. Pier bought the home. They stayed here for 10 years. In the mid-1970s, Whitney Newland bought the home as an investment, and it was occupied by renters for about 25 years. Finally, in 2001, he and his wife, Judy, moved in. They like that the home is close to town, and they are especially happy with the home’s three fireplaces. “We feel spoiled,” Judy told me.

Mae Crawford and the children: Elizabeth, Leland, and Eleanore. | Courtesy of Leland Crawford III

American Colonial Revival Style


The house is a Designated Structure of Merit in the City of Santa Barbara, which states, “The building exemplifies the American Colonial Revival style, which is an important style to the City. The building at 1924 Anacapa has American Colonial Revival elements beginning with the arched portico supported by slender posts and brackets, and the heavy wooden semi-arched door that helps contribute to the symmetrical appearance of the American Colonial Revival style.”

There are more than 25 Structures of Merit on Anacapa Street. Overall, there are about 400 homes and buildings on this list. Of these, only about 10 are American Colonial Style. They were built between the years of 1906 and 1938. This list is available online.

Note: Please do not disturb the residents of 1924 Anacapa Street.