Take an Architectural Tour of Santa Barbara
A new book examines the Spanish Colonial style that defines this California city
The Gantz House, in Montecito, is among the Craigs’ most accurate replication of a Spanish farmhouse, complete with white plaster walls, a red-tile roof, and a stately two-story entry hall.
James Osborne Craig’s renovation of the El Paseo plaza—originally the home of Santa Barbara commandant José de la Guerra and later converted into a mixed-use space for the city—was a defining moment in his architectural career. El Paseo’s courtyard, pictured here, was designed to reproduce an inviting Castilian-style outdoor space, draped in bougainvillea and lit with Colonial Spanish electric lanterns.
Inspired by Andalusian architecture, Montecito’s Emmor J. Miley House, crafted by Mary McLaughlin Craig, features white plaster walls with a sandstone-framed entryway and a black iron balcony, traditional to Spain.
The second Emmor J. Miley House, also designed by Craig, is even grander, with a sandstone exterior, stone windowsills, and ironwork on the windows. Inside, a balcony overlooks a central patio.
Plaza Rubio, a group of modest Spanish-style houses facing the Mission Santa Barbara, was devised in the mid-1920s and embodies the charm and color of the old-world detail for which the city has became known.
By the early 1930s Mary McLaughlin Craig had shifted away from the Spanish Colonial aesthetic toward Mediterranean and American styles. The Harry Drake House in Carpinteria, California, recalls Spanish influences in combination with Colonial American design.