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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.

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