October: The Architecturally Macabre Book Club

October: The Architecturally Macabre Book Club

WHERE ARCHITECTURE IS ALWAYS THE MAIN CHARACTER.

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.”

 
October’s Book:
The Shining by Stephen King
6-7:30 PM Thursday, October 28, 2021
229 East Victoria Street, Santa Barbara 93101
 

Register at Facebook for this FREE in person book club event at the historic Acheson House: the perfect venue to share the architecture of horror that is The Shining. 

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

Happy Reading!

September: The Architecturally Macabre Book Club

September: The Architecturally Macabre Book Club

WHERE ARCHITECTURE IS ALWAYS THE MAIN CHARACTER.

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.”

 
September’s Book:
The Woman in the Window
by A. J. Finn
 

Register at Facebook for this live video event. 

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

Happy Reading!

Behind the Sandstone Wall

Behind the Sandstone Wall

Address Changes but Charm Remains

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

Address: 610 East De la Guerra Street

Originally Published in The Santa Barbara Independent

Link to original article here: https://www.independent.com/2021/08/26/behind-the-sandstone-wall/

A knee-high sandstone wall surrounds the one-story cottage at 610 East De la Guerra Street. The main entrance is highlighted with a modest Greek-revival-style porch that is framed by two large windows ornamented with leaded-glass panels. However, when the home was built in 1913, the main entrance was on Salsipuedes Street. Like the home at 610 East Victoria Street that I wrote about in June, the home’s address was changed in the 1980s. The address was originally 736 Salsipuedes Street.

The stone wall is not original to the home, but it’s fitting for a home built by Italian immigrants since much of the stonework in Santa Barbara was created by them. According to historian Erin Graffy in a 1995 article in Noticias, the “Eastside Italians” settled in the area “bounded approximately by Milpas, Haley, State, and Anapamu.… Some had no family, they knew no one in town, they did not know the language. But all arrived here willing to work hard to make a fresh start, to embark on a new life. They won friends, married, had children, built profitable businesses, launched successful careers. Most of all, the Italians of Santa Barbara earned the respect and affection of their community and became a valued and integral part of the everyday life of their adopted home.”

Credit: Betsy J. Green

A Cozy Family Home

Giovanni Menegon left Italy in 1910, and by 1913, he and his family were living at 736 North Salsipuedes. Giovanni and his wife, Amabile Menegon, raised nine children here. He was a gardener and owned a dairy. In addition, Giovanni found time to serve as a councilman in Santa Barbara’s Italian Benevolent Society. 

 

To again quote Graffy, “It is not difficult to see why Santa Barbara was selected by the Italians as their destination in the U.S. The terrain and the inviting climate prompted the sons of Italy to stay here, and many immigrants remarked how much Santa Barbara reminded them of their homeland…. When we admire the fabulous stone walls throughout the upper Eastside, Mission Canyon, and the Riviera, we see evidence of the Italian stone masons of yesteryear.”

Several generations of the Menegon family lived on the property as the decades rolled on. By 1930, two grandsons were also living here. One of them — Serifo John Menegon — became a successful architect and practiced in Santa Barbara for 40 years. Members of the Menegon family lived in the home until it was sold in 1958. Several other families lived in the home after that.

A Change of Address

In 1988, David Sampanis bought the home, and it was he who asked that the address be changed to 610 East De la Guerra. He told me that he felt it was a more desirable name than Salsipuedes. “De la Guerra runs to historic downtown and is associated with that architecture and history, whereas Salsipuedes is associated with the industrial part of town. The translation of Salsipuedes didn’t help — as you know it means ‘Get out if you can,’ so I could and I did.… It seemed like a free upgrade to the value of the home.”

Sampanis enjoyed his time in the home. “It was overall a very pleasant place to live…. I enjoyed being so close to downtown and being able to bike most places.”

Today the home is owned by Leah and Kip Evert-Burks. “The house has obviously had many updates, but we still find it charming…. It’s little, but we love it. We bought it back in 1996 and raised our two kids here.” She added that she had once seen a 1920s photo of Santa Barbara that showed their home. “It was one of the only houses in this area at that time.” They built the sandstone wall as one of several upgrades that they have made to the house.

Please do not disturb the home’s residents.

Local Treasures Opening: September 18

Local Treasures Festive Opening with Music... and Covid safety precautions
Saturday, September 18, 1-4 pm.

September 18, 2021 Saturday, 1-4
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).

In the Foundation’s garden, the group Glendessary Jam will be providing music for the event.  

July: The Architecturally Macabre Book Club

July: The Architecturally Macabre Book Club

WHERE ARCHITECTURE IS ALWAYS THE MAIN CHARACTER.

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.”

 
July’s Book:
The Fallen Architect
by Charles Belfourne
 

Register through Eventbrite below to automatically get the ZOOM link for July’s book club meeting. 

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

Happy Reading!

Dancing With Paint by Marlene Struss

Dancing With Paint by Marlene Struss

July 16 – September 8, 2021
The Architectural Foundation Gallery

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is pleased to present Dancing with Paint, an intriguing exhibition of new paintings by long-time Santa Barbara artist Marlene Struss. The exhibition runs from July 17 through September 8, 2021, and the public is invited to an Opening Reception with the Artist on Friday, July 16th, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. 

The title, Dancing with Paint, contains multiple references.  It conjures the sloshing, swirling, elegant movements of Struss’s painting style, which she describes as biomorphic abstract expressionism with an Asian twist.  On another level, Dancing with Paint characterizes Struss’s partnership with her paintings—how the organic, structural images quickly and almost magically emerge as the artist’s hand and the paint respond to each other in bursts of coordinated, exhilarated movements.  “To prepare for those special moments of focused inspiration,” says Struss, “I spend much time and deliberation on my choices of harmonious colors, paint viscosity and unusual applicators (including yarn, balloons, plastic forks, acetate, rags, you name it)—but it’s dancing around the studio that really primes me and seems to be an essential part of my painting process.”

Marlene Struss graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 1973, where she studied drawing with Howard Warshaw, painting with Irma Cavat, and printmaking with Bruce McCurdy. She subsequently spent many years developing a unique style of abstract collage, for which she was awarded the Independent Artist Award for Assemblage in 2004 from the Santa Barbara Arts Fund.  After a brief but significant stint with digital painting, she then turned to acrylic painting on panel to increase spontaneity and decrease limitations, to enliven the work with surface texture, and work more physically.   More information and past and present artworks by Struss can be seen at www.marlenestruss.com.

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.

June: The Architecturally Macabre Book Club

June: The Architecturally Macabre Book Club

WHERE ARCHITECTURE IS ALWAYS THE MAIN CHARACTER.

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.”

 
June’s Book:
Loving Frank
by Nancy Horan
 

Register through Eventbrite below to automatically get the ZOOM link for June’s book club meeting. 

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

Happy Reading!

A Summer Lecture Series: The Architecture of India

A Summer Lecture Series: The Architecture of India

By Dr. Allan Langdale

Thursdays, Via Zoom.
June 17 - August 19, from 6:45 - 8:00 PM

$10/lecture or $80 for all

This lecture series focuses on several monuments and architectural complexes in India, surveying the Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic traditions of the sub-continent. The material will be presented in chronological order, spanning dates from the 2nd century BCE to the sixteenth century.

Read more about each individual lecture on our Events Page.


 

Allan Langdale has had seasons of powerful lectures with the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara, including several sold-out lectures. He has his PhD in art history from UCSB and currently teaches at UC Santa Cruz. He also works in the tourism industry for Smithsonian Journeys and Zegrahm Expeditions, doing about a dozen trips a year. Allan is the author of several articles and books, including Palermo: Travels in the City of Happiness (2014) and The Hippodrome of Istanbul / Constantinople (2020). His travel blog can be found at ‘Allan’s Art and Architecture Worlds’: https://allansartworlds.sites.ucsc.edu/

Beauty Out Of Ashes by Sophia Beccue

Beauty Out Of Ashes by Sophia Beccue

May 15 – July 8, 2021
Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara Gallery

contentment website
Gaining Insight website

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is pleased to announce Beauty Out of Ashes, an exhibition of vibrant, abstract paintings by Sophia Beccue. Visitors are invited to view the exhibition on Saturdays, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, and weekdays by appointment, May 15th through July 8th. The artist will be present on May 15 and July 3. (Self-screening, masks, and social distancing are required.)

During the past two years, while living through cancer and a global pandemic, Sophia Beccue came to grasp the deeper meaning of beauty, beauty born out of the dark times, experienced personally and collectively.

In December 2018, Beccue was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer; in 2019, she went into partial remission and long-term treatment. After wrestling through the meaning of life and death, and finding peace through her faith, she was better equipped to face the pandemic and her husband’s diagnosis of cancer. She discovered not only beauty in the darkness, but strength in the midst of weakness and brokenness.

Her paintings are predominantly abstract, done in watercolor and acrylics on paper and wood panels. The emotion-packed journey through cancer inspired Beccue to put her heart into her work with a calm spirit. Her dynamic compositions, suffused with color, movement and texture, capture deep valleys as well as sunshine with authenticity.

Born in Taiwan, Beccue immigrated to the U.S. in her teens and currently lives in Santa Barbara. She studied graphic design at San Diego State University and illustration at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. She worked as a graphic designer and illustrator, and now focuses on fine art painting. A member of the Santa Barbara Art Association, the Abstract Art Collective, and the Art Council of the Westmont-Ridley Tree Museum of Art, she has won numerous awards and has had solo and group exhibitions. Her art has been collected internationally.

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.

https://www.sophiabeccuestudio.com/

Prairie-Style Home on Mission Street

Prairie-Style Home on Mission Street

Mission Street Home Echoes Midwestern Style

By: Betsy J. Green
 

Address: 21 East Mission Street

Originally Published in The Santa Barbara Independent

Link to original article here: https://www.independent.com/2021/02/25/prairie-style-home-on-mission-street/

Ours is a city dominated by Victorian, Craftsman, and Spanish Colonial Revival homes. We do, however, have some fine examples of additional styles more prevalent elsewhere in the country, and the American Foursquare, a type of “Prairie” style, is one. Frank Lloyd Wright is the most famous architect associated with this style, which is common in the Midwest. 

A Prairie-style home is usually characterized by a low-pitched hipped roof, shaped like a pyramid. Wide eaves emphasize the horizontal lines of the house. This architectural style is all about straight lines and angles — there are no curves or frilly details. 

The first owner of the home at 21 East Mission Street was from the Midwest, so his idea of the perfect home may have been influenced by the architecture there. This home’s Prairie-style angularity is echoed in the brick front walk, which is paved in a double basketweave pattern, and the Japanese shoji screens in the front windows.

A Young Couple Builds a Home

Courtesy of the Santa Barbara Historical Museum

The home was built about 1911 by Edward A. and Nellie Diehl. Edward was from Missouri and Nellie (Elizalda) had grown up in Santa Barbara. When they married in 1905, the local paper described Edward as “one of the city’s most promising young businessmen” and noted that Nellie was “a descendant of one of the oldest Spanish families in California.” They later had a son named Frederick, who is believed to be the one who carved the initials “FD” on a shingle at the back of the house.

Edward’s father, John Frederick Diehl, started a gourmet grocery store in 1891 when the family arrived here. Diehl’s Grocery was located at several different locations on State Street in the half century that it was in business. The store sold imported delicacies from Europe, as well as local produce, and was famous for its elaborate sidewalk displays. The store sold its own baked goods, homemade mayonnaise, and candy and had a soda fountain that served oyster cocktails! In 1905, the grocery’s ad in the local paper boasted that the store sold a “new health food — toasted corn flakes.” Both Edward and his brother William worked at the store.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, before many families had automobiles, Diehl’s Grocery had its own horse-drawn delivery wagon. That wagon now belongs to the Santa Barbara Carriage and Western Art Museum. You may have seen this vehicle in Fiesta parades.

The Diehl family left Santa Barbara in the 1940s, and the home was occupied by several owners until 1965 when George and Shigeko Nishihara bought the home. George was a cabinetmaker and made the intricate shoji screens in the house. Members of that family have owned and lived in the home ever since. Brian and Vicki (Nishihara) Woolford have lived in the house since 2010. Vicki spent her formative years in the home before she settled in Hawai‘i for some 40 years, where she and Brian met.

Credit: Betsy J. Green

The backyard is a quiet, brick-carpeted oasis shaded by a coastal live oak that an arborist estimated to be 150 years old. A seasonal creek in the back provides water for the tree. Since the tree predates the house, the Diehls may have chosen this site because of the tree. 

What do the Woolfords like best about their home? The walkable location and the architectural diversity in the neighborhood, they told me.

Interesting Patterns Emerge

I was struck by the repeating patterns of the house and its occupants. Frank Lloyd Wright collected Japanese woodblock prints, and this ties in with the shoji screens in the front windows. The screens echo the brick pattern on the sidewalk. The Woolfords moved here from Hawai‘i, and in researching the Diehl family, I discovered that Edward Diehl and his brother William had both spent time in Hawai‘i in 1901.

Please do not disturb the residents of 21 East Mission Street.

Betsy J. Green is a Santa Barbara historian and author of Discovering the History of Your House and Your Neighborhood, Santa Monica Press, 2002.