Garden Street Numero Dos

Decomposed granite. Decomposed granite path. Decomposed granite paths. Intersecting decomposed granite paths. This home, 2050 Garden Street, bookends Santa Barbara’s Crocker Row, mirroring our previous home located at 2010 Garden Street, and has decomposed granite paths. I could sleep wrapped up in decomposed granite, the granules sloughing up against me, glazing and exfoliating simultaneously. This permeable paving surface holds me captive, always.

While the listing notes this home to be Crocker Row House Number 5, a house described as the “most notable residential example of Mission Revival in Santa Barbara,” it does not yield a single picture of the front, Garden Street facing, façade. Luckily for us, handy-dandy Google Street View has come to our rescue, and reveals a home located behind a tall hedge, lanky queen palms, and hefty wooden pedestrian gates, a vantage where just the flourished tops of the double hung ground floor windows can be seen, set deep into an entry porch spanning the width of the house, supported by pairs of Doric columns slathered in a warm, sandy stucco, with the massing of a Catholic cathedral—ornate, graciously carved second floor windows, a central, Inquisition-esque four petaled rose window, providing a third story Gothic perch from which to view the goings on below, all topped by a lavish, plentifully dolloped-on gable, curved and pedimented as its apex rises skyward.

Rounding right on Padre Street from Garden, the hedges, warm stucco, palms, unrestrained gables continue—a red, hand-laid terra cotta roof is now revealed, as are paired chimneys, olive trees, wall-mounted lanterns, an automobile court, with garage spaces galore, behind motorized wooden gates with substantial circular handles affixed streetward. And, behind this gate, is where the decomposed granite resides.

The decomposed granite serpentines its way across the property, connecting the flagged auto court, seating areas, fountain courtyard, and the front walkway. While I admire the owner’s personalization of the space, I , likewise, also desire to make the space my own.

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I am very much influenced by the garden in Carolyn Murphy’s old home in Brentwood, with its easy, breezy luxury and transcendent appeal, and, also, its wonderful little pool, flanked by a lavender field. The chickens would also be a must—growing up, my parents built a chicken coop and we had chickens and they laid blue-green eggs. They have chickens again, my parents, and it would be a tradition I hope to continue myself in the future. They’re really like part of the family, and fresh eggs with big, California-poppy-orange yolks are such a divine way to start the day. The very first AOL Instant Messenger account I used, I can’t even call it mine since it was my mom’s, and I could only use it under supervision, was smallfarm, and I’ve always had an affinity for the idea behind it: a bucolic, country life in the city.

Someway, somehow, to me, the real estate marketing photos of many Santa Barbara homes evoke a certain passive, tranquilized, detached air about them. There is a place for everything and everything is in its place; the spareness is luxuriant. It’s devoid of just enough. The lighting is always mellow, the colors always muted. It is the Golden Hour, always. Not only is the sun shining, but interior lamps illumine from the ceiling, from the walls, from behind milked or etched glass, onto well-chosen, well-hewn wooden panels, built-in cabinets, slabs of cut stone, sumptuously carved French doors, wide doorways.

Another of Diane Keaton’s former homes covered by Architectural Digest, this one a genuine 1926 Wallace Neff Andalucía-farmhouse-inspired manse, provides my inspiration for the interiors of this house. I see sleek tiles, chunky tiles, sheets of stainless steel, and white plaster walls abounding, white plaster walls set between dark stained wooden panels and beams, curved spare furniture, and western scenes mounted in thick wood frames, some gilded, some au-natural.

While 2050 is set right up close to the street, the centered home above, Number 2 Crocker Row, not only also displays paired chimneys, but also a luxuriantly spare exterior, a milieu that is extended to the landscape gardens via a selection of California Native plants suited to the dry, coastal Santa Barbara environs. Crocker row displays a unique time capsule of a style pioneered by the prosperous settlers from the Eastern United States and their romanticized views and interactions with Alta California history.

2050 Garden Street, located on a roughly 15,600 square foot lot, provides 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms for its new owner.

The house, listed by The Morehart Group with Compass Realty, is currently asking $6,100,000.

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