WEATHER »
Tom Merkel has a smoke on a bench moments before his home is destroyed

Paul Wellman

Tom Merkel has a smoke on a bench moments before his home is destroyed


Tom Merkel’s Paradise Road Cabin Crushed

Photos from the October 21 Bulldozing Session of Longtime Resident’s Home


On Wednesday, October 21, Tom Merkel’s “Frankenstein” of a cabin on Paradise Road finally met its fate: Bulldozers came to mow it down.

The last holdout of 27 homes along Paradise Road that are within the jurisdiction of the Los Padres National Forest, Merkel’s cabin - built as a hunting lodge for a prominent Santa Barbara family in 1918 - was under the terms of a “recreational lease,” and that lease came due earlier this year. Unrestricted by typical codes and standards because it was always considered a temporary structure, the building itself had become a curiosity. Explained Merkel in an Independent article earlier this year, “It’s a cultural Frankenstein. It’s not Martha Stewart. It’s a little bohemian.”

Here are photographs from Wednesday’s demolition.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

Lawmakers Move to Impede Offshore Oil Leases

A pair of bills aim to counter the federal government's new push for production.

More Money Available for Santa Barbara County’s Disaster Victims

The United Way is giving to Santa Barbara nonprofits and offering direct cash grants.

Santa Barbara’s Commuter Train Brings Solid Ridership and Timely Service

The first two weeks of service have seen a daily average topping 180 riders.

Animal Care for New Cuyama

County Animal Services will host free and discount pet services on April 22.

Goleta’s Library Is Seeking Volunteers

The location is separating from Santa Barbara's system and needs help changing barcodes.