Fabled Gables: 1936 Laguna Street

Original Owner: Dr. Harold and Maude Sidebotham

Approximate Year Built: 1902

Architect: Unknown

This week’s profile is of a spacious, two-story home that was built for prominent physician Dr. Harold Sidebotham and his wife, Maud Sidebotham, who lived here on and off until the 1920s and 1930s. Since then, it has had a variety of tenants and owners.

There is some discrepancy as to exactly when this residence was built. Two sources, a plaque affixed to the front of the home and the Santa Barbara County Assessor’s Office, indicate the home was built in 1896. However, a published report from the Santa Barbara Morning Press on August 21, 1902, reads, “Dr. Harold Sidebotham is building a house on Laguna Street, near the Hale residence.” Yet the first mention of the couple’s name in any city directory does not appear until the 1905-1906 publication, which is also the year noted in documentation from the Santa Barbara Historical Museum and the county website,

The residence is one of the first of its day to deviate from Victorian-era trimmings. Its roofline is almost pyramidal in style. In addition, the black-shingle siding, protruding eaves, and extensive landscaping all lend themselves toward the craftsman architectural movement that was starting to trend in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. Additional alterations and improvements over the years have seen the front façade transformed from symmetrical to asymmetrical. These alterations include closing in the front porch on both the first and second levels, enhancing the attic to become a third story, realigning the chimneys and fireplaces, and adding a new front door with a curved and hooded overhang for visiting guests.

Regardless of when the Sidebotham residence was built, it symbolizes a move toward a new architectural style and remains a treasured jewel of the Eastside.

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