Fabled Gables: 229 East Victoria Street

Former Home to James Acheson Now Headquarters of Architectural Foundation

Original owner: James J. Acheson and daughter Elizabeth

Year built: 1904

Builder: J.V. Elliott

This home on East Victoria Street is a pleasant combination of Italianate and colonial revival architecture. When built, the home was situated at the corner of Garden and Victoria streets. That was a distinguished location at the time due to the proximity to the streetcar, as the trolley line ran from State Street, across Victoria and over to Garden, and then north to the Mission.

The first owner was James A. Acheson, who had relocated from the Midwest to Santa Barbara in 1903 with his daughter, Elizabeth. Within a year of their arrival, they commissioned builder J.V. Elliott to construct their single-family, two-story-frame residence at a cost of $2,200.  

Upon the death of her father, Elizabeth Acheson leased the home to Charles E. Phoenix, a druggist who operated the Gutierrez Drug Store from 1905 to 1918. In addition to his pharmaceutical work, Phoenix was involved with several civic-minded causes in the community and also served as a city councilmember and the president of the chamber of commerce.  

By 1950, Elizabeth Acheson-Baker sold the home, at which time it was converted into the Lauraline Rest Home. In 1976, the property was fully renovated and today serves as commercial office space for the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara, whose purpose is to enhance the community’s awareness and appreciation of architecture and the built environment.


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