Fabled Gables: 215 W. Valerio St.

This well-preserved Queen Anne–style home still retains its original design from 1887

Probable original owner: Edwin J. Hayward

Approximate year built: 1887

Architect: Unknown

This all-white, two-story house is permeated with intimate warmth found in the Queen Anne style that was popularized during the Victorian era. Though the interiors have been converted to modest apartment units, the exterior has not undergone any significant variation in its 129-plus-year history. Because of this, nearly all of the original design has been well-preserved.

In the late 1860s, ownership of this vacant land passed through three Santa Barbara citizens, one of those being Maestro Jose Lobero of Lobero Theatre fame. Somewhere around 1887, construction of the residence began. Upon its completion, an eminent photographer of the day, Mr. Edwin J. Hayward, became the owner. The residence was valued at $2,100. His gallery, the Hayward & Muzzall studios, was known for iconic images of Santa Barbara in the 1870s-1880s. Between 1904-1929, the property had two subsequent owners. Real estate and insurance broker Harlan Fairbanks purchased it in 1904 and sold it seven years later to mining promoter Frank Mandeville.

The layout of the home is virtually cubic, with many windows in double-hung, sash design. The half-length front porch features a multi-light front door and a banister composed of decorative scrollwork of simple ornamentation in a fan-shaped motif. Directly above the porch is a diamond-shaped window, which allows for an abundance of natural sunlight to penetrate inside the home’s stairwell.

One of the home’s more unique elements is a central, pyramidal hipped roof which features outreaching cross gables that are end-capped by bargeboard in a fan-shaped design. In addition, ornamental brackets are evenly spaced along the roof’s eaves.

Fans of the Queen Anne style will be pleased to see that most of the original design is still present and so well preserved.


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