Fabled Gables: 834 Santa Barbara Street

Architect and Original Owner: J.F. Moullet

Year Built: 1896

The Moullet house is one of the oldest French colonial brick residences in Santa Barbara. J.F. Moullet built it on part of the Royal Presidio site in 1896 for his bride. The Rezzonico family, early-day masons, did the original brickwork.

Though the property had served many families, in 1932 it became the rented headquarters for a branch of the Chinese Nationalist Party. In 1955 the house was remodeled as Santa Barbara Drive-In Liquors, which called for the elimination of a brick chimney and fireplace in the center area of the building, lowering the floor and ceiling four feet, enlarging the windows, and tearing out the interior brick partitions. Today, the building is home to the popular lunch spot Panino.

The neighborhood around the property is now a commercial-residential mixture of many old buildings, but the Moullet house is outstanding for its rare and unique style, composed mostly of brick and festooned with light ornamental scrollwork adjoining the roof, porch, and window moldings.

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