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.