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Tom Merkel’s Paradise Road Cabin Crushed

Photos from the October 21 Bulldozing Session of Longtime Resident's Home

Tom Merkel has a smoke on a bench moments before his home is destroyed
Paul Wellman

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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