Fabled Gables: 2020 Chapala Street

2020 Chapala Street
Caitlin Fitch

Original Owner: St. Mark’s Episcopal Church

Year of Construction: 1875

Estimated worth today: Last valued at about $775,000 in 2011

Originally built by renowned architect Peter Barber at the corner of Micheltorena and Anacapa streets, which was far outside of downtown Santa Barbara at the time, this church housed four different congregations in three different locations. First was St. Mark’s, a spin-off of Trinity Episcopal, but then they ran out of money. So in came the First Baptists until they outgrew the space in 1910, followed by the Seventh-Day Adventists, who moved the building to De la Vina and Anapamu. It survived the quake of 1925, then the Adventists moved it to 2020 Chapala in 1932, taking over a lot that was once part of Flying A Studios. That church remained the owner until 1964, when the Central Church of Christ moved in. Next came a series of secular owners — including current owners Patricia and Richard Levee, who began leasing to McDermott-Crockett Mortuary in 2010.

2020 Chapala Street
Courtesy Photo

“With offices located conveniently in the back and the beautiful chapel functioning as the business’s storefront, not a day goes by when we don’t find ourselves overwhelmed by the sheer awesomeness of the chapel’s idiosyncrasies,” says the McDermott-Crockett website. “The regally preserved arches in the main hall frame a breathtaking display of light which pours through the stained-glass windows in the afternoon, filling the entire chapel with a deluge of warm and peaceful rose-colored light. The place truly glows when touched by the sun.”


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