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Architect to Tell Story of Historic Florestal Estate

Spanish Colonial Revival house designed by George Washington Smith

Florestal property overlooking Pacific Ocean at Hope Ranch.
Florestal property overlooking Pacific Ocean at Hope Ranch. (Courtesy photo)

Santa Barbara Historical Museum will host a talk Florestal: Then and Now: An Architecture, Garden and Family Chronicle by architect and author Marc Appleton Wednesday, April 18, at the Lobero Theatre.

Guests will be treated to an insider’s perspective of the storied Santa Barbara estate known as Florestal designed by George Washington Smith.

In 1925, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Cooper Bryce built the Spanish Colonial Revival house on 52 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Hope Ranch. Historian David Gebhard considered Florestal “one of the great houses of the era and one of Smith’s finest masterpieces.”

The house and surrounding gardens, which were developed by Mrs. Bryce with input from the horticulturalist Peter Riedel, became the family home to their children and grandchildren and endured intact and unchanged until Mrs. Bryce’s death in 1980.

In his talk, Appleton, who is one of the Bryce’s grandchildren, recounts Florestal’s story and describes the magical influence it had in its heyday, as well as later during the property’s renovations.

Tickets to the talk are $25 and are available at lobero.org.

Appleton is an award-winning architect, whose design work has been published in such periodicals as Architectural Digest, Town and Country. He has consistently been named one of Architectural Digest’s top 100 Designers.

In 1999, he wrote a new introduction and bibliography for Acanthus Press’ reprint of Rexford Newcomb’s Mediterranean Domestic Architecture in the United States, followed by publication of George Washington Smith: An Architect’s Scrapbook.

Appleton is a founding member of the Appleton-Whittel Research Ranch Foundation in Arizona and the Mingei International Museum of World Folks Art in San Diego. He has served on the Board of Trustees for Prescott College in Arizona, and currently serves on a a number of committees and boards.

He is a 1968 graduate of Harvard College and has a masters of architecture degree from the Yale School of Architecture (1972). He and his family live in  Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.

— Dacia Harwood for Santa Barbara Historical Museum.

 

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