The Sunday porch: Santa Barbara

Vhay house, Santa Barbara CA, 1934, HABS, Library of CongressThe north porch of the Vhay House, 835 Leguna Street, Santa Barbara, California, April 1934, by C. A. Fletcher for an Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.*

Vhay house, Santa Barbara CA, 1934, HABS, Library of CongressThe Rafael Gonzalez House, which was owned by Louise and David Vhay at the time of these photos, was built in 1825.  It is a typical adobe townhouse of the Mexican California period, with walls over 2′ (.61 m.) thick.

Gonzalez was a soldier and landowner when he built the house for his Italian bride. He became mayor or alcalde of Santa Barbara in 1829.  His daughter, Salome, inherited the home in 1866 and lived there until 1923.

The Vhays restored and enlarged the house.  It is now occupied by Randall House Rare Books.

Vhay house, Santa Barbara CA, 1934, HABS, Library of CongressAbove: bougainvillea above and calla lilies below, along the north porch, by C. A. Fletcher.

Vhay HABS, 1934, Library of CongressAbove: north porch, by C. A. Fletcher (cropped by me).

Vhay house, Santa Barbara CA, 1934, HABS, Library of CongressAbove: south porch from the southwest. Photographed April 1934, by H. F. Withey.

Vhay house, Santa Barbara CA, 1934, HABS, Library of CongressAbove: detail of south porch, east end, by H. F. Withey.

Vhay house, Santa Barbara CA, 1934, HABS, Library of CongressAbove: 1934 drawing by Frederick C. Hageman (also the small plan above).

2010 photo by Dilly Lynn, via Wikimedia CommonsAbove:  2010 photo of the Rafael Gonzalez House, now a rare book store, by Dilly Lynn, via Wikimedia Commons.  There’s also a nice painting of the house in 1953 here.

The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970.

.    .    .    — for a sec
he even sees the calla lily’s furl
in the gesture of voilà!

Farnoosh Fathi, from “Sympathy


*All photos and drawings here, except the last image, via Vhay House HABS, Library of Congress.

2 thoughts on “The Sunday porch: Santa Barbara

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s