Address: 814 E. Pedregosa St.

Status: On the market

Price: $1.85 million

Walking down the steep hill toward the open house on East Pedregosa Street, my thoughts bounce with each careful step, from “Wow, it’s a good thing I’m not wearing high heels” to “What a workout — I would be in such good shape if I lived here.”

Tucked right below Orpet Park and adjacent to one of the Riviera neighborhood’s secret staircases, the vertical approach to this home and its semi-hidden location appeal to my sense of adventure. Ever an optimist, adventure almost always trumps caution, especially when I’m playing the game of imagining myself living in somebody else’s home.

My quadriceps quiet as I approach the house itself. Behind an arched red doorway lies a twisting, turning storybook of a home — not just one house, but a collection of stairs, quaint rooms, and alcoves that make up a triplex of livable units. The living room of the main house invites me in past the succulent-studded fireplace to the picture window with a view to get lost in for hours and days. I can imagine sitting with my cup of tea and crossword puzzle, musing about the goings-on of the people in all of downtown spread out below, beyond, and all the way to the ocean. I can’t help feeling somehow proprietary of all of the stories contained in my view.

Built in 1912 as a rooming house for the Santa Barbara State Normal School of Manual Arts on the Riviera, a predecessor of UCSB, this house flows comfortably from one level to another without the stilted, chopped feeling of some multi-unit complexes. This house is happy. I can easily envision several people or couples contentedly cohabitating, making the most of the charming outdoor patios to extend their living spaces. The backyard of the main house is a secret garden of its own, with feathery pampas grass and natural rock-lined paths. I’m reminded of the home’s history in the angles, details, and built-ins everywhere I look. This is a home for friends to share stories, to make new memories, and to absorb and enjoy the history and tales of the house itself.

I don’t even notice my legs as I walk to my car and drive back down into town, my head full of visions and stories of my own.

814 East Pedregosa is currently for sale in Santa Barbara, represented by Dan Crawford of Village Properties Realtors. Reach Dan at (805) 886-5764.


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