Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 6:34 pm | Fair 66º


Historic Homes Open Their Doors for Tour

The Pearl Chase Society event features six Upper Eastside homes built between 1903 and 1930; read on for a preview.


The Pearl Chase Society will present this year’s Historic Homes Tour, featuring six Upper Eastside homes, event chairwoman Sarah Knecht said.

The tour provides a rare opportunity to view six unique residences in one of the city’s most historic neighborhoods. The homes were built between 1903 to 1930, and represent a variety of architecture styles, including Colonial, Mediterranean Villa, Monterey Spanish and Early Christian Byzantine.

The tour, a benefit for the nonprofit Pearl Chase Society, will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 18. Tickets are $50 for nonmembers of the Pearl Chase Society, $45 for members, and $70 for a tour ticket and a first-time-only membership. Tickets are available by mailing a check to the Pearl Chase Society, Historic Homes Tour, P.O. Box 3131, Santa Barbara, CA 93130-3131. For information about the tour, call 805.961.3938.

During a visit to her family in 1907, Pearl Chase resolved to beautify Santa Barbara, her hometown.  The Historic Homes Tour returns to its origins in the Upper Eastside to celebrate the success of her vision.  This tour features enchanting gardens, distinctive homes and broad avenues all in one of the city’s most historic residential neighborhoods.

1916 Mediterranean Villa

Guyllan Lodge was built in 1895 for the Kennedys of Boston (no, not the Kennedys, but perhaps distant cousins). It graced several manicured acres and was named after a famous lodge in Scotland. But tragedy struck when the beautiful lodge was ravaged by fire, leaving only the carriage house and stately water tower unscathed. Celebrated architects Winsor Soule and Russell Ray were commissioned in 1916 to rebuild the lodge in the Mediterranean style. The result is this jewel of the Upper Eastside. The owners have painstakingly restored the villa to its original glory. Guyllan Lodge features a low-pitched, hipped roof, a two-story porte-cochere and a wood and tile frieze running below the exterior eaves. There are five stunning fireplaces and a formal grand staircase. The owners’ exquisite taste is evident in the seamless melding of fine antiques and strong modern statements.


1904 Colonial Revival

This home was built in 1904 for William Weaver Michener, a successful Philadelphia merchant. Its classic features include horizontal siding, gabled dormers and a recessed entry door surrounded by pillars, entablature and fan light. After 1922, the home became the residence of Francisca Dibblee, a descendant of Don Jose de la Guerra, the strongest Comandante of El Presidio de Santa Barbara. Local lore holds that Francisca held meetings in the dining room of her home to help plan Santa Barbara ‘s first Old Spanish Days Fiesta, which is still celebrated each August. The current owners have made several improvements to this gracious home. More than 1,000 linear feet of wood was specially milled to match the moldings in the living room and dining room, making unadorned rooms that once housed servants now as elegant as the original formal rooms.

1903 Rustic Colonial

Tucked in a tall, manicured hedge, the front gate of this turn-of-the-century home opens to a serene garden of tropical plants and pleasing architectural features.  Inside the residence are beautifully paneled walls, antique furnishings and art-filled, airy rooms.  Beyond the backyard pool is the original carriage house and stable – now a comfortable getaway for the owners and their guests.  Landscaping is lush and includes palms, citrus trees and a prolific rose garden.  The owner is a renowned landscape architect and is responsible for the design of the Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens.  Here, in his home, he has created a tranquil setting on a busy Santa Barbara street.


1928 Monterey Spanish Classic

This Soule and Murphy designed home sits in a graceful setting on one of Santa Barbara’s most historic streets. Inside, its intimate spaces exhibit a sense of gentility and calm. The living room features a tile fireplace, handsome bookcases and a 10-foot beamed ceiling. Upstairs are inviting bedrooms and delightfully renovated bathrooms. A classic second-story balcony faces the street. Artwork representing plein air artists from the east and west coasts adorn the walls throughout the home. Where a laundry yard once aired family linens, an espaliered lemon tree rests happily on a sunny wall of a lovely courtyard garden. Atop the detached garage is a cozy studio, beckoning one to slow down and enjoy the quiet amid the branches of an avocado tree.

1926 Mediterranean

This beautifully restored Upper Eastside home was originally designed by the noted Los Angeles architectural team of Somervell & Putnam.  The unique floor plan was requested by the original owners.  The house features his and her wings separated by a graceful loggia.  It was once known as the “purple passion home” because of the many wisteria vines that grow on the property.  In 1960, Ione and Sam Battistone, co-founder of Sambo’s Restaurant, purchased the house from a former mayor’s wife, and it remains in the Battisone family today.


1930 Early Christian

In 1930, members of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Santa Barbara, selected Henry Gutterson of San Francisco to design an edifice that is largely Byzantine and Romanesque in style.  Representing the vault of heaven, the Byzantine dome typically rests on four naves; here, the central dome is impressed with subsidiary domes that demarcate interior vestibules.  The four elevations are capped with projecting gable-ends, three of which display a set of stained glass windows.  Clustered columns with cushioned capitals support a line of springing Roman arches, accentuating a gabled portico that trails from the Santa Barbara Street, with a similar arcade running perpendicular from Valerio Street. Lockwood de Forest was chosen to plan the garden, and after months of hovering and directing, charged only $300.

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