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Pearl Chase Society Reveals Select Historic Homes Tour Destinations

One of four Moody sister cottages on the Pearl Chase Society’s upcoming Historic Homes Tour. Click to view larger
One of four Moody sister cottages on the Pearl Chase Society’s upcoming Historic Homes Tour. (Pearl Chase Society photo)

The Pearl Chase Society has announced its 16th annual Historic Homes Tour, which will take participants to seven intriguing homes the in Santa Barbara area May 15, 2016.

This year’s theme is “From Moody to Manse,” with tour-goers invited to see homes of various architecture, from quaint cottages designed by the Moody sisters, to two Craftsman-style homes, to a recently remodeled Mediterranean estate. The tour presents a collage of Santa Barbara architecture.

About three-dozen pixie-like cottages designed by two of the enterprising Moody sisters, Harriet and Mildred, can be found throughout Santa Barbara and Montecito.

The post-war whimsical cottages were built in the 1930s and ’40s, and the sisters built the homes using reclaimed parts of dismantled estates, including lumber, windows, doors and paneling. The houses are said to have been inspired by the fairy tale books the sisters had enjoyed as children.

Four Moody sister cottages on Rosemary Lane will be on this year’s tour: Sweetbriar, Mulberry, Canary and Hillhaven, all of which are bursting with charm and sweet details.

“The sisters’ charming architectural style is uniquely Santa Barbara,” said tour organizer Sue Adams, who says the diversity illustrated in this year’s tour is particularly remarkable.

Also included in the tour are two downtown bungalows representing Craftsman-style architecture, which dominated much of the new architecture for smaller homes in Southern California in the early decades of the 20th century.

The Craftsman architectural movement was rooted in simplicity, originality and the use of local materials, which allowed for a crop of modest homes for an ever-expanding middle class.

Tour goers will notice many architectural details typical of the Craftsman style, such as low-pitched roofs supported by square columns, hand crafted stone or woodwork, exposed rafters and brackets and wood siding. Both bungalows have been accented with the owners’ art and travel finds.

The largest home on the tour is a newly restored Italian-Mediterranean revival home on Santa Barbara Street, which was built as a single family home in 1921. In 1951, the estate was acquired by several religious organizations and then by a school, which used it as campus headquarters until 2010.

This newly restored Italian-Mediterranean revival home on Santa Barbara Street is the largest home on the Historic Homes Tour. Click to view larger
This newly restored Italian-Mediterranean revival home on Santa Barbara Street is the largest home on the Historic Homes Tour. (Pearl Chase Society photo)

The exterior architecture presents classic Mediterranean details, including symmetrical entrances, a tile roof, unadorned masonry, arched windows and doors, wrought iron window elements and a formal Italianate-style garden.

Inside the owners have completely renovated the house, bringing it back from an industrial use to a family home. Tour guests will be treated to refreshments in this home’s garden.

“The fact that homeowners in our city share their architectural treasures with their community is exceptional. It is a sampling of not only extraordinary architecture but of extraordinary graciousness,” Adams said. “The tour makes for a very lovely Sunday adventure and it is a example of how hospitable our city can be.”

The tour is open to the public from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. May 15, 2016. Tour tickets are $60 for society members, $70 for non-members and $90 for a ticket and a first-time-only membership. Advance are reservations required.

To purchase tickets, visit www.PearlChaseSociety.org or mail a check to the Pearl Chase Society Historic Homes Tour, P.O. Box 92121, Santa Barbara, CA  93190-2121. 

For information, call 805.961.3938.

Kelly Mahan is the publicity chair of the Pearl Chase Society.

Constructed from local materials, this Craftsman-style home exemplifies the movement’s emphasis on simplicity. Click to view larger
Constructed from local materials, this Craftsman-style home exemplifies the movement’s emphasis on simplicity. (Pearl Chase Society photo)

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