The story of Wood Glen Hall can be traced back to the vision of Aileen Barnes Wood and her husband, Adrian (Buddy) Wood.
After the end of World War II, the need to provide for the growing population of senior citizens became evident. Having the elderly live with their children and grandchildren was becoming less feasible as the children moved away to obtain employment.
Responding to this need, the Woods spent three years studying ways they might help. They decided after consulting with gerontologists to establish a new type of facility in Santa Barbara where seniors could reside comfortably at reasonable cost.
In April 1955, a suitable site was found at the intersection of Alamar Avenue and Foothill Road. Buddy Wood purchased the five acres out of his own pocket for $36,000. The property had been part of Willowbrook Farm, a dairy farm that extended from Alamar to Laurel Canyon Road and north into the mountains.
The farm dates back to before 1924. Milk, butter and eggs were purchased directly from the Joe Corbelli family, owners of the farm. It ceased operation during World War II. The huge cow barn and milking sheds were landmarks on Foothill Road until their demolition.
In September 1955, a San Francisco architectural firm, Stone, Mulloy, Marraccini and Paterson, which specialized in hospitals, was retained to design a building containing 30 single rooms and 10 doubles. Plans for the one-story Spanish Revival with modern touches went to the Planning Commission on April 15, 1956. Construction commenced in September. The facility was completed by October 1957.
Wood Glen Hall, after nearly 56 years, continues to reflect the vision of its founders, Aileen and Adrian Wood, in providing “elderly men and women with an ideal, noninstitutional home at minimum cost."
Having grown up in Mission Canyon and recalling the barn and the cows from my childhood, it is hard to imagine that this site now is a stellar facility that provides three first-class meals and many in-house activities plus allowing one the freedom to continue to participate in community affairs.
— Kellam de Forest represents Wood Glen Hall.