Santa Barbara, Montecito, and Hope Ranch have some of the finest examples of George Washington Smith architecture as he spent many years living in the Montecito area. Born Feb 22, 1876 George Washington Smith was raised in Philadelphia & studied painting at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Later Smith attended Harvard University to study architecture.
Around 1911, Smith married Mary Catherine Greenough and moved to Europe. He traveled around the continent painting landscapes. Just a few years later, Smith traveled to California where his paintings were on display in the Palace of Fine Arts at San Francisco’s Panama Pacific Exposition. While in California he traveled south to visit friends in Montecito. He loved the area so much, Smith decided to stay and build a home. He modeled his Montecito Estate after farmhouses he had seen in Andalusia during a trip to Spain in 1914.
The home built in 1917 called Casa Dracaena was successful. Neighbors were asking for him to design houses just like his. Soon he stopped painting and took up architecture full time in Santa Barbara. He remained in the Santa Barbara area until his death in 1930. At that time George Washington Smith (GWS) designed over 80 estates in the Santa Barbara Area. Since then Smith has been credited as being the father of Spanish Colonial Revival Style. Many of the homes George Washington Smith designed are now a part of the National Register of Historic Homes. His “Casa Del Herrero” in Montecito was just designated a National Historic Landmark in January 2009. George Washington Smith’s vision has shaped Santa Barbara’s history and style. Estates designed by George Washington Smith are extremely limited in availability and quite coveted.
There are currently about a half dozen GWS estates for sale in the Santa Barbara area.
One particular estate currently for sale is Robledal. It was built in the early 1920’s for Milton Wilson. Wilson was one of the three partners credited for developing Hope Ranch Park. Robledal is one of the finest homes created by George Washington Smith. It has incredible views of the Pacific Ocean & Channel Islands. Robledal is a fantastic example of GWS architecture with his signature detailing such as wrought iron sconces, chandeliers, grates, tiled stairs, fireplaces, fountains, carved wood doors and ceilings. The beautiful oak studded estate (the Spanish translation of Robledal is oak grove) In addition to the magnificent main home there are two attached guest-apartments, and one detached guest cottage, a five car garage and staff apartment with two extra multi-use rooms. This rare offering consists of 8 acres with an adjacent parcel that could also be purchased. It is an equestrian’s dream as the trails lead right to the beach for oceanfront horseback riding! This is truly one of the prime Hope Ranch estates!For additional information on this exquisite George Washington Smith estate go to http://estateinhoperanch.com