Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - stores

Designers: Craig, James Osborne, Architect (firm); Riggs, Lutah Maria, Architect (firm); James Osborne Craig (architect); Lutah Maria Riggs (architect)

Dates: constructed 1925

Architect and theorist Charles W. Moore, along with Gerald Allen, wrote in their 1976 book, Dimensions, that El Paseo, a successful and central commercial development in Downtown Santa Barbara, helped to reinforce the community's wholesale acceptance of the Spanish Colonial Revival Style. They wrote: "The half-forgotten, shadowy remnants of Spanish architecture seemed, in the 1920s, to capture the mood of Santa Barbara, and people set out to bolster it and extend it, creating an Anglo-Californian vision of Spanish romance. In 1925, the Scottish architect James Osborne Craig completed El Paseo, a labyrinth of courtyards, passages, and open rooms that house many small shops and a splendid, balconied restaurant open to the sky. One of the parts, 'Street in Spain,' bounded by glowing white stucco walls and colorful awnings, slips between two historic abodes built in the early nineteenth century, which become part of the newly-created ensemble. Craig's work here--plus the work of the distinguished Santa Barbara architect George Washington Smith--turned people on to the excitement of 'Spanish' architecture. When Santa Barbara suffered a disastrous earthquake in 1925 and was faced with the task of rebuilding itself, this idiom was dramatically extended, resulting in a really remarkable case of the intentional assumption of an architectural style by a whole town." (See Charles W. Moore and Gerald Allen, Dimensions Space, Shape & Scale in Architecture, [New York: Architectural Record Books, 1976], p. 41, 43.) Moore and Allen make clear the extraordinary near-unanimity Santa Barbara residents felt toward the Spanish Colonial Style in the 1920s. This approval led to the inception of strict architectural design guidelines in the city, insuring the dominance of this romantic mode.

Lutah Maria Riggs designed an addition to El Paseo in Santa Barbara, CA.

PCAD id: 13058