The Sunday porch: Santa Barbara

The Sunday porch:enclos*ure- Casa de la Guerra, Calf., 1936, HABSLa Casa de la Guerra, Santa Barbara, California, September 1936, by Henry F. Withey for an Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS),  via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The adobe house was built between 1819 and 1826 by José de la Guerra y Noriega.  His descendants lived in parts of the house until 1945 (other parts were renovated as offices or shops after 1919).

“It is unquestionably the major monument of the Spanish and Mexican period in Santa Barbara. Architecturally it is also of great significance for the part it played in the creation of the 20th century Spanish Colonial revival in southern California,” according to the 1937 HABS report.

The house still stands and is open to the public as a museum.
 

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.