Fabled Gables: 805 Castillo Street

Architect: attributed to Peter J. Barber

Original Owner: unknown

Year Built: 1878

Profiled this week is a simple yet stately Italianate structure attributed to Peter J. Barber, who became known as “Santa Barbara’s most prolific architect of Victorian homes and buildings.” In addition to his designs, he also served as mayor of Santa Barbara during 1880-81 and 1890-91.

This symmetrically designed, two-story residence was designed with horizontal shiplap siding. The windows and doors are outfitted with classical headers in an arched motif, while the roof is supported by simplified brackets with dentil ornamentation under the eaves.

The residence was constructed in 1878, yet the original owner and subsequent owners remained unknown for more than four decades. In 1922, Bert and Mabel Hardison purchased a building site located at 805 Castillo Street, yet there is no history of occupancy until 1927, when their name appears in the city directory at that address. One possibility is that the residence was relocated to Castillo Street from another location. The Hardisons lived at the residence for the next 41 years.

Beginning in 1968, the property endured a series of different homeowners, where at some point in time the interiors were reconfigured into a four-unit studio apartment structure. Today the property is lovingly maintained and in excellent condition.

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