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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


Friday, October 23, 2009
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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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Interesting to check out that related link, "the Last Man in Paradise". Sorry to see him have to go. Did not realize, or maybe I forgot, that he was the one who finally relocated the big Santa Claus. The comments to that April story were quite interesting.

bajamama (anonymous profile)
October 23, 2009 at 2:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Another cultural treasure lost to the faceless scowl of Progress.

Sorry to see it go. Just glad I got to experience Tom's magical tour while it all was still alive...

UncleBumpy (anonymous profile)
October 23, 2009 at 5:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I made a mistake. It was the Frosty the SnowMan that he relocated. You have to love a guy like that/

bajamama (anonymous profile)
October 23, 2009 at 7:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I can remember when he lived near summerland, his house had some eccentric antiques and carvings inside, this is a guy who once owned a hundred or more old cars of all types mostly cadillacs from the late forties early fifties. he used to have an old blue tow truck. he traded me a 1969 cadillac for a first year Buick Riviera. I remember a local mechanic telling me in good humour that I had gone from the fat to the fire on that deal. the caddy turned out to need a freeze plug but after fixing that I put many a mile on it. Thank you Tom. I hope you find a new and better place soon.

GluteousMaximus (anonymous profile)
June 4, 2012 at 5:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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