Casa del Herrero will reopen to the general public on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Casa is ready to safely welcome tour guests back to the estate. While indoor spaces remain closed, guests will now engage in a reimagined self-guided garden tour.
“The Casa’s original owner, George Fox Steedman, worked very closely with renowned landscape architects on the garden designs. Today, the Casa maintains National Historic Landmark status in part due to these unique spaces,” said Executive Director Jessica Tade. “I am grateful that we are able to reopen so that we can once again share our special gardens with the community.”
When visitors come to Casa del Herrero, or the “House of the Blacksmith,” they are transported back to Montecito in the 1920s and 1930s – the heyday of the original owner George Fox Steedman. Designed by George Washington Smith, the Casa is one of the finest examples of Spanish revival architecture in America. It is included on the National Register of Historic Places, and maintains National Historic Landmark status in part due to its eclectic mix of Country Place Era and Moorish-inspired gardens created by Ralph Stevens, Lockwood de Forest, and Francis T. Underhill.
Guests will now be able to experience the gardens as they stroll at their own pace. Garden spaces include the Blue and White, Arizona, and Herb gardens as well as the main alleé and Casa orchard. Guests begin their tour in the lovely motor court where they view the façade of the Spanish revival main house. They continue on through the garden spaces – each garden “room” uniquely revealing itself to the viewer.
Tours can be booked on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. throughout the year by calling (805) 565-5653. Each tour is first come, first serve with a maximum of six visitors allowed per tour. Regardless of its size, tour groups will not be combined with another tour.
Self-guided tours are contactless, with visitors accessing information about the garden spaces utilizing QR codes read from any smartphone or tablet. A one-way flow of movement is implemented on the tour. Once a tour guest has passed a location, they will not be able to go back.
All visitors must wear a mask covering their nose and mouth at all times while at the estate while also observing social distancing. Further safety guidelines for visiting the estate can be found here: https://www.casadelherrero.com/tours/
Admission costs $25 per person, and is non-refundable. Tours are provided for adults and children ages 10 and above. Book your tour today by calling (805) 565-5653.
About Casa del Herrero
Today, the 11-acre estate functions as a nonprofit organization with the goal of preserving the house and grounds, as well as the Steedman family’s collection of fifteenth and sixteenth-century fine and decorative art objects from the “Golden Age” of Spain, books, sketchbooks, drawings, and horticultural records. Casa del Herrero is preserved and stewarded for the benefit of the community, and can be visited by booking a tour at casadelherrero.com.