Address: 821 Coronel Street
Architect: 1874, Peter J. Barber
This charming Italianate house, with its distinctive cupola, designed by Santa Barbara’s first major architect, Peter J. Barber, has graced the city for 140 years, and has been moved so many times, actually to four separate addresses, that it has been called Santa Barbara’s first mobile home. Lewis Doan and his moving company had the privilege of moving the structure twice.
Originally built and owned by businessman and Civil War veteran C.C. Hunt, the house stood on the corner of State and Anapamu streets in the center of uptown Santa Barbara. It was purchased by Dr. Henry L. Stambach, who, when threatened by a major development scheduled for the site, moved the residence to 15 West Victoria Street in 1890, where it became both his home and office. There it remained until 1955, when again the house was threatened by development. Concerned citizens, loath to see the unique edifice destroyed, prevailed upon the Assistance League of Santa Barbara to obtain the house and move it to 401 West Montecito Street, where it remained for a decade.
In 1965, the land under it was sold to the Mobil Oil Corporation, which proposed demolition of the house in favor of a service station. Again concerned citizens intervened, and found a buyer for the house in the person of John Alexander, who had the building moved to its present location. They included Edwin Gledhill, Elmer Whittaker, Mary Louise Days, Walker Tompkins, and Judy Orias. The Hunt-Stambach House stands in tribute to Santa Barbara’s care for its history and architecture.
Excerpted from Santa Barbara: A Guide to El Pueblo Viejo. Published by the Santa Barbara Conservancy, which advocates for historic, architectural, and cultural resources, and available for sale in stores around town and on sbconservancy.com.