31 East Pedregosa Street
Original Owner: Mattie More Storke
Year of Construction: 1886
Last transaction: Sold for $840,000 in 1994
Estimated worth today: Nearly $6 million
This residence was built for Mattie More Storke, the daughter of wealthy cattleman T. Wallace More and wife of teacher, attorney, and politician Charles A. Storke. (Their marriage ended in divorce, and he was excommunicated from the Catholic Church for it.) It’s likely Santa Barbara News-Press publisher Thomas Storke spent a great deal of his young life here.
The home, which is a nod to the Queen Anne style, features 36 rooms and more than 6,000 square feet of living space. The patterned shingles and decorative work on the gables are quite interesting, as is the elaborate scrollwork on the hoods above the windows. There is a stained-glass window hidden by the porch. “El Descanso,” as it is known, was meticulously restored by Viscountess Escania Cobian more than a decade ago.
Based on information from, among other sources, Survivors: Santa Barbara’s Last Victorians, a publication of the Santa Barbara Historical Society.