Kids Draw Architecture 2022 / Niños Dibujan Arquitectura 2022

Kids Draw Architecture Sketch Session at the Courthouse is back!

Join us on May 1st from 1-3pm at the Santa Barbara Courthouse on 1100 Anacapa Street to draw with local architects and artists, materials provided! We will also be accepting mailed in drawings of the Santa Barbara Courthouse through May 27th, 2022, more information below.  

Attention to Loss by Pecos Pryor

January 7 - March 5, 2022


January 7 – March 5, 2022. The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is pleased to present Attention to Loss, an exhibition of drawing, printmaking, and sculpture by Pecos Pryor. Attention to Loss is Pryor’s debut one person show in Santa Barbara, CA. 

Attention to Loss is a response to the question: “What do we do with our hands in grief?” In 2019 Pryor lost a family member to suicide, a family member to drug overdose, and went through a divorce.

Pryor comments: ” The art produced in this time has been physical, contemplative, full of mad and sad tears as well as loving ones. I have created traffic cones built from clay, concrete and fiberglass, and carved from wood, stone and plaster; drawings of single unmade beds; self portraits; woodcuts, etchings and mono prints derived from the imagery of sculptures and shadows; and monotonously colored full sheets of paper, dark space-no answers, but some color. With the inability to change tragedy, art making gives me something to do with my hands.”

Attention to Loss is about looking at the darkness and demanding something be given back. What that something is, is yet unsayable.”

Pecos Pryor earned his MFA in Printmaking from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and currently resides in Carpinteria, CA. He teaches Sculpture and 2D Design for Westmont College and Printmaking at Santa Barbara City College School of Extended Learning. Significant honors include the Francis William Vreeland Award in Art for 2018 and the Wendy Jane Bantam Graduate Exhibition Award. Attention to Loss is Pryor’s debut one person show in Santa Barbara, CA. 

Images shown:

After the Memorial: Cone 2020 monoprint on BFK paper.

Untitleable 2021 graphite, conte crayon, metallic crayon, pen, knife marks, fingernail scratches on BFK paper.

Medium Dark Gray: Colored Paper 2021, graphite on BFK paper 

Local Treasures

September 18th - November 12th 2021

High Tide by Cynthia Martin
Chloe 3 by Rosemarie C. Gebhart


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. 

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.

Dancing With Paint by Marlene Struss

July 17 - Sept 8, 2021


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 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

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.

‘Museum’ on West Valerio

'Museum' on West Valerio

Renovated Home is a Blast from the Past

By: Betsy J. Green

Address: 230 West Valerio Street

Originally Published in The Santa Barbara Independent

Link to original article here:

Only a dozen or so homes in Santa Barbara have been featured in Old House Journal magazine. This is one of them. Walking into the home is like walking back in time. The furniture and décor echo the Craftsman bungalow style that was popular a century ago. This home was built in 1912 for $1,500. The owners, Robert Sponsel and Patricia Chidlaw, joke that some of their renovations cost more than that. They call the home “our museum.”

The home’s exterior colors and plantings blend smoothly with the style. A 1914 paint catalog noted, “The bungalow is distinctively a suburban house … to make it attractive, the colors as well as the architecture must harmonize with nature.” The risers on the front steps are decorated with a vine called creeping fig (Ficus pumila) that also grows on the famous Gamble House in Pasadena.

One of the most eye-catching items in the kitchen is a 1930s GE refrigerator. These appliances were commonly nicknamed “monitor” refrigerators because the round compressor on top resembled the gun turret on the USS Monitor, an ironclad Civil War vessel.

Credit: Betsy J. Green

Good News, Bad News

Imagine picking up the morning paper and reading your own obituary! That’s what happened to E.J. Peterson, the home’s first owner. The obit used his name but described the life and death of another S.B. resident named E.J. Hayward, a well-known photographer. 

I suppose that the good news about reading his own obituary notice is that he was able to contact the paper and get a correction printed the next day. The paper called it “an unfortunate mix-up,” and added that “Mr. Peterson … is very much alive and the mix-up in names kept Mr. Peterson denying that he was even ill.”

One of the home’s most interesting owners was Henry Augustus Adrian and his wife, Phila, who owned the home in the early 1920s. Adrian had served as the superintendent of schools and was the mayor of Santa Barbara in 1926 and 1927. In addition to these careers, Adrian often traveled the country as a speaker in Chautauqua assemblies. The Chautauquas were a sort of continuing education for adults that traveled from town to town. The practice began in Chautauqua (chuh-TAW-kwah), New York, in 1874. Generally, the group would set up a tent in a town and present a weeklong series of educational lectures and performances. Adrian was a friend of the botanist Luther Burbank and spoke about his plant research.

Another interesting owner was F.H. Kimball and his wife, Charlotte. Kimball was the president of the Veronica Medicinal Springs Water Company. This was a mineral spring located near Veronica Springs and Las Positas roads.

Robert Sponsel and Patricia Chidlaw | Credit: Robert Sponsel and Patricia Chidlaw

Hard Work and Luck

Here’s another example of good news and bad. When the present owners bought the house in 1980, it had been “modernized” in the 1960s by an owner who painted the woodwork white and ripped out the original cabinets. The good news was that he had taken “before and after” photos, which enabled Robert and Patricia to restore their home to its original appearance.

Apart from stripping paint, they had some lucky finds in their search for period-appropriate fixtures. Patricia happened to be walking the dog one day and found a beautiful claw-foot bathtub that had been discarded. Salvaged items from nearby demolitions also helped keep down the restoration costs. 

What advice do they have for homeowners wishing to attempt similar retro decorating? “Bob and I were fortunate that we started looking in the early ’80s before the vogue for restoring Craftsman homes. You could still find inexpensive pieces in thrift stores and at yard sales. I guess my advice would be to study the books and familiarize oneself with the style and then look at resale situations and hope to get lucky. The Stickley furniture company is still in business and making beautiful reproductions of classic designs. While these are not cheap, I imagine they could be considered a good buy because the solid oak will certainly last more than a lifetime.”

Please do not disturb the residents of 230 West Valerio Street.

An Artistic Abode

An Artistic Adobe

Moving Story of this Sunny Home

By: Betsy J. Green

Address:1128 Bath Street

Originally Published in The Santa Barbara Independent

Link to original article here:

There’s no mistaking that an artist lives in this home decorated inside and out with artwork from Santa Barbara’s iconic Summer Solstice parades. It’s the domicile of Claudia Bratton, who has overseen the extravagant annual parade 16 times. The parade began in 1974 as a sally up State Street as a birthday celebration. It has since morphed into a procession of funky and fantastic floats, dancers, and stilt-walkers, ending with an inflatable one-ring circus and drawing thousands of visitors to our sunny streets.

The home’s first owners were Joshua Snell and his wife, Anna B. They had farmed in Montecito and Carpinteria before moving to Santa Barbara. Joshua bought the land on the corner of Bath and Anapamu streets in 1886, and he probably built the home at that time. The original building permit stated that the house cost $1,500. Like many homes — including the one that I wrote about in last month’s column — this home has had a change of address. Although unlike that one, this house was actually moved.

Snell was originally from Maine and may have participated in the annual picnic for former Maine residents in Santa Barbara, some of whom called themselves “Maniacs.” He had been an investor in an ostrich farm on State and Islay streets about 1909. At the turn of the century, ostriches supplied feathers for women’s hats.

A Moving Experience

Credit: Betsy J. Green

The home was originally located on Anapamu Street. Around 1910, the Snells moved it to the back of their property and turned it to face Bath Street. There is no building permit on file for moving the house, but perhaps permitting wasn’t necessary if you were moving a house from one part of your property to another at that time. 

How many houses have been moved in Santa Barbara? Who knows, but a 1922 article that I found in the local paper stated that 33 homes had been moved that year. Occasionally, people even moved homes that did not belong to them. In 1915, a man moved a home from one side of Milpas to the other — without the owner’s permission.

Homes and buildings were moved in a couple of ways. Generally, several holes were punched in the foundation in either side of the home, and beams or logs were put through the holes under the subfloor. The remainder of the foundation was then removed. For a simple move, the house was dragged along on the logs by oxen, horses, or mules.

For a more high-tech house move, the beams under the house were raised up with gigantic jackscrews, and a truck bed was placed under the house. Draft animals or motorized vehicles pulled the house. It was a slow process and might take days. 

In 1906, a house moving here outraged multiple citizens, “Before this house reaches its destination [30 blocks away] the injury it has wrought on the shade trees, the inconvenience it has caused, and the property rights it has outraged” caused people to petition the city council to place a limit on the size of homes moved around.

Attention to Details​

Credit: Betsy J. Green

Varied Occupations

There has been an interesting assortment of owners of this home. Walter A. Scott was part owner of a livery stable, which rented horses and carriages. Emma Harris, another owner, sold corsets. Her ad in 1915 stated that she had “scores of delighted patrons in Santa Barbara.” Corset wearers were sometimes nicknamed “old ironsides” because some corsets were reinforced with steel or iron rods.

Another homeowner — Cora Loretta Dowhower — owned an art shop along the Street in Spain in the El Paseo building. Her neighbors there included artists Ed Borein and Clarence Mattei. Dowhower was also a charter member of the Santa Barbara Business and Professional Women’s organization.

Not only is the house decorated with artwork, but it is also nestled in a lush garden. Bratton is not sure why her garden grows so well, but maybe the home’s history provides a clue. I found an ad in the local paper in 1914 in which the homeowner was selling chickens. Perhaps the chickens’ — ahem — “contributions” enriched the soil.

Please do not disturb the residents of 1128 Bath Street.

A Home Among the Churches

A Home Among the Churches

Stately Historic Santa Barbara Street Home Has Spirited History

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

Address: 1626 Santa Barbara Street

Originally Published in The Santa Barbara Independent

Link to original article here:

There’s a church across the street, one around the corner, and another one just down the street. It’s therefore not surprising that the history of the house at 1626 Santa Barbara Street reflects the history of the neighborhood. For 43 years, the home was used for meetings by the Unity Church, and 100 years ago the house was the meeting site for a Spiritualist minister from Summerland.

The home was built in 1904 for $4,000. It was described in the local paper as two-story with eight rooms. The home is a harmonious blend of Craftsman and Colonial Revival styles. When the house was finished, the local paper commented, “The interior arrangement and conveniences of this house have been favorably commented upon by all who have seen it.”

The first owners were Charles T. Thayer and his wife, Florence. Thayer owned the Overland Stable at 110 East Carrillo Street. According to ads in the local paper, you could rent a saddle horse for half a day for $1.50, or $35 for a month. Thayer owned his own horses, of course, and kept them in a barn and corral behind the house. The Thayers may have been the family that planted the enormous Moreton Bay Fig tree in the front yard, which is said to be the second largest of its kind in Santa Barbara.

Courtesy Charlotte Tudor Alexander

A Spiritualist Minister in the Home


From 1909 until 1918, the Thayers lived elsewhere and rented out the house. In 1918, I found three ads in the local paper for “Independent Spiritualist Rev. F.C. Williams will lecture and give messages” at the home. The phrase “give messages” meant communicating with deceased persons in the spirit world. Williams had previously practiced in Summerland. He was called “a master message bearer.” The current owners told me, however, that they have not noticed any signs of spirits in the home.

The home’s second owners (1918-1971) were John William Tudor and Charlotte Hubbard Tudor. They made the news when they arrived here, because they and their children had spent several months driving here from Boston, pulling a tent trailer and visiting numerous national parks along the way. John was a mining engineer and had been a member of the Rough Riders.

The Tudors’ granddaughter, Charlotte Tudor Alexander, shared some of the family’s photos and memories with me. As you can imagine, every family that was here for the severe earthquake in 1925 has stories. Charlotte told me that her mother was 3 years old when the quake hit and was thrown out of bed. The Tudors divorced in 1933, and Mrs. Tudor continued to live in the home until her death in 1968.

If you have photos or stories about a home where you used to live, I encourage you to share them with the current owners. Most homeowners would be thrilled to have such information.

Robert Escobar, circa 1945. | Credit: Courtesy

The Church Moves In


From about 1971 until 2014, the home was owned by the nearby Unity Church, which used it for church activities. Among the activities were marriage ceremonies, some of which were held in the garden’s gazebo. The current owners told me that occasionally, a couple who was married there drops by to ask if they can visit the gazebo where they exchanged their vows.

Present owners Robert (Bob) Fulmer and his wife, Patsy, had driven past the house one day. Bob remarked, “I really like that house. The location would be perfect for us. Plus, the verandas and columns make it look like our Southern heritage.” When the house went on the market, they bought it and have spent several years converting the house back into a comfortable home. They enjoy taking their dog to the nearby parks and walking to restaurants and theaters — in pre-pandemic days. The Fulmer home was scheduled to be on the Pearl Chase Historic Homes Tour this year, but the event was postponed.

Credit: Betsy J. Green

Some of the information for this house history came from research done by the Post-Hazeltine group. Although many sources of information remain closed, it is possible to search online archives for juicy tidbits. Try visiting the California Digital Newspaper Collection online and search for your address in the Morning Press.

Please do not disturb the residents of 1626 Santa Barbara Street.

Credit: Courtesy Charlotte Tudor Alexander

Home for a Flying A Couple

Home for a Flying A Couple

Uncovering Part of Santa Barbara’s Film Studio Past

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

Address: 2319 Wellington Avenue

Originally Published in The Santa Barbara Independent

Link to original article here:

More than 1,000 people were employed by the Flying A film studio in Santa Barbara; it was said to be the city’s largest employer. So it’s not surprising to find a house that was home to some of them. Armand and Eva Bonnard were the first owners of the home at 2319 Wellington Avenue. They both worked behind the scenes at the American Film Company, the studio’s official name. Armand was the manager of the auto department. Eva worked in the accounting department and played bit parts in some films as well. According to former homeowners, Eva also worked as the personal secretary for Flying A starlet Mary Miles Minter. Minter was one of the country’s top ingénues of the 1910s and early 1920s. In 1919, she moved to a Los Angeles studio.

Armand Bonnard was in charge of vehicles shown here at the “Flying A” studio. | Credit: Santa Barbara Historical Museum

A Home and a Barn

Armand had previously worked for Vogue Films, Inc. in Los Angeles, before joining Flying A in 1916. I found a couple of articles about him and Eva in a 1919 movie magazine. “The [Flying A] garage houses 17 motorcars and trucks … and all of the repair work on the cars is handled under the supervision of A.A. Bonnard in the company machine shops, where modern lathes and equipment provide for any emergency.”

The magazine also reported on an interesting event involving the future Mrs. Bonnard: “Miss Eva Wilson, cashier of the American Film Company, enjoyed a stunt ride in an aeroplane over the studio grounds one day last week with Lieut. Poppic, who gave her numerous thrills by doing the loop, wing-over, tailspin and nosedive. Miss Wilson now declares straight flying to be a very tame affair” (Camera, October 4, 1919).

The History of the Land


In addition to looking at the former owners of a home, it is often interesting to look at the former owners of the land. Wellington Avenue is a small portion of an 18-block piece of property owned by William Van Vactor, a wealthy miner from Sacramento. Van Vactor bought this property in 1874, just two years after Stearns Wharf was completed. The construction of the wharf was a major milestone in Santa Barbara’s history because it increased the ease of reaching the city. The railroad did not reach here until 1887.

The Flying A was located on the block bordered by Mission, Chapala, Padre, and State streets. In its heyday in the 19-teens, the Flying A was one of the major producers of silent films. It was only three blocks away from this home. One of the studio’s buildings still stands: the one-story Mission Revival–style office building at the northwest corner of Mission and Chapala. 

The Bonnards moved into the home in 1926 and lived here until 1938. The Flying A ceased producing movies in 1921. After that, Armand became part owner of a car repair business. Other owners of the home included Grover Riddle, Dana and Marion Barnes, and Marion Jean Porter.

The Bungalow’s Origins


The home is an example of the California Bungalow style that was popular from about 1910 to 1925. These bungalows are generally one-and-a-half stories. They developed as urban areas expanded when more families owned automobiles. The term “bungalow” has a fairly exotic origin: coined by the British in India, meaning “a house in the Bengali style.”

The most interesting feature of this home is the dramatic ogee arch that crowns the opening between the living room and dining room. This type of arch is composed of two S-shaped curves. One wonders if the Bonnards’ background in movies inspired this distinctive feature. 

While researching this home, I discovered that in the 1930s, the next-door neighbors were William H. and Maude Diehl. They were related to the Diehl family at 21 E. Mission Street, a home that I wrote about in February of this year, proving once again what a small town Santa Barbara can be.

Please do not disturb the residents of 2319 Wellington Avenue.

Credit: Betsy J. Green

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:

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:

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.