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Unusual Santa Barbara Buildings
updated: Mar 27, 2014, 2:44 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

What is one of the most u-n-u-s-u-a-l buildings in Santa Barbara? (not ugly, unusual)

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 MARJELK agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 02:54 PM

The Pagoda house on the corner of East Valerio St. and Grand Ave.

 

 COMMENT 506374 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 02:57 PM

Not a building, but the old prohibition era tunnels under State St. are pretty darn unusual. Exploring them is a treat if you are into Goonies type stuff. Just be careful, the roofs are a bit crumbly in some areas and while they are not that long you can still get lost. .

 

 COMMENT 506377 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 02:59 PM

Wish we had more of them, and less red-tile roofed, pueblo-type buildings (yawn).

London and Berlin are great examples of cities that have introduced beautiful, modern architecture into cities with many fantastic old-world buildings.

 

 COMMENT 506378 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 02:59 PM

Not "in" town...but I'v always loved the old abandoned gas station out on the end of Hollister.

 

 COMMENT 506380 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 03:02 PM

London and Berlin are huge cities that can absorb all manner and era of architecture. Santa Barbara, not so much.

 

 COMMENT 506381 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 03:03 PM

@374, can you elaborate?? I've never heard of tunnels under State Street! Any links, articles, etc about them would be appreciated!

 

 COMMENT 506384 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 03:16 PM

Years ago a friend told me he spent nearly an entire day roaming around tunnels beneath downtown SB. I always thought he was lying, but he always maintained that indeed there are lots of passageways throughout the downtown area. He worked at the old Newberry (sp?) store and said he accidentally found a false wall in the basement area that concealed an entrance. Don't know if there was ever a "Newberry" store in SB, but that's what he claimed before Alzheimer's got the best of him..

 

 COMMENT 506399 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 03:53 PM

@381 They are prohibition era so they were used for moving booze and who knows what else back in the day. Much has changed since then with buildings down own so most of the tunnels dead-end and are no longer connected to the buildings like they once were. Not a whole lot of stuff left in them, but still neat cause they are underground and dark. Not the Paris catacombs but still neat for SB.

 

 COMMENT 506403 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 03:56 PM

I remember Newberrys was around when I was a kid in the 60's.

 

 COMMENT 506406 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 04:04 PM

Some people are calling vaults tunnels. No tunnels downtown.

 

 COMMENT 506409 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 04:17 PM

@506406 There are still actual tunnels not just vaults. They connected numerous buildings many years ago and most of the actual openings to the buildings are long since gone. True some of them are now basically underground vaults as they have been walled in, but plenty of length of tunnel still exists. Long enough to get lost in. The network isn't very large though so in the end it is not all that difficult to find your way back out, just remember to have fresh batteries in your flashlight.

 

 COMMENT 506413 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 04:24 PM

384. Newberry was in the building right across from the art museum on a State Street. (Facing the entry of the art museum) Loved the lunch counter.

 

 COMMENT 506416 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 04:30 PM

Hey, I worked at the Newberry lunch counter for about 6 months in 1979, still have the portrait taken courtesy of Newberry's management in my uniform, brown with white striping detail.

 

 COMMENT 506426 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 05:22 PM

I believe Woolworth's was on State Street across from the art museum. As I recall, J.J. Newberry's was in the 800 block State and became part of Picadilly Square. Might have the locations reversed.

 

 COMMENT 506431 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 05:32 PM

@426: Newberry's was down the block from Woolworth's. You're thinking of Kress's in the 800 block of State Street. Kress was to popcorn what Thrifty Drug was to ice cream, and the overpowering odor of popcorn hit you over the head just walking in.

 

 COMMENT 506436 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 05:49 PM

unusual building: Whale House

 

 COMMENT 506441P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 05:56 PM

SB Tunnels, Edhat discussion August 2012
http://www.edhat.com/site/tidbit.cfm?nid=98506

 

 COMMENT 506449 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 06:24 PM

Ex Newberry employee here, if my memory serves me, I believe it was on the corner of State and Carrillo St.

 

 CHILI_CON_ARTCARNEY agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 06:31 PM

The book house, mountain drive.

 

 COMMENT 506453 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 06:35 PM

Church of Skaten!

 

 COMMENT 506474 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 08:23 PM

The Ablitt House and other Jeff Sheldon creations.

 

 COMMENT 506482 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 08:53 PM

Was just telling my husband how much I miss the old "dime stores" on State St. So many happy memories from childhood. Also loved the lunch counters for after school cokes/snacks with gal pals. Even loved them as a big kid !

 

 BEACHBIKER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-27 09:38 PM

I'm with 474.

 

 88KEYS agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-28 12:03 AM

Downtown Santa Barbara in the 40's and 50's had a Newberrys, Woolworths, Grants, and a Kress. Anybody remember Sontag's Drugs?

 

 COMMENT 506494P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-28 07:44 AM

Hey, how about a tour of the tunnels under State Street? I once did a "Seattle Underground" tour while I visited there. Great history full of all sorts of fun factoids. Who's game?

 

 COMMENT 506496P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-28 07:46 AM

I like the juxtaposition of the big pink and purple painted Victorian on the corner of Micheltorena and De La Vina and then right behind it, one of the tiniest houses I have ever seen.

 

 COMMENT 506497 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-28 07:57 AM

Does anyone know if the old gas station at the end of Hollister is still there? I couldn't find it on Google Earth.

 

 COMMENT 506498 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-28 07:57 AM

Newberrys was down where the drug store is by Paseo Nuevo. The 5 and dime store on the corner of State and A opposite the Museum was Woolworths. It had a large lunch counter and made a good BLT which cost about $225.00

 

 COMMENT 506517P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-28 08:35 AM

@498: No, the dime store where Piccadilly Square was was Kress. Newberry's was a few blocks north on State.

 

 COMMENT 506520 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-28 08:41 AM

6497... look at the NE corner of Sandpiper. That little nondescript shack with red tile roof is it.

 

 HAROLDM agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-28 08:50 AM

The gas station on Hollister is still there. In IV I think on Sabado Tarde is a "beehive" house--a ceder-shingled geodesic dome shaped house on a corner near the west end.

 

 COMMENT 506549 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-28 09:18 AM

I saw a really interesting house on Foothill Ln last night. It was geometric/abstract looking and was painted in very vivid bold colors. Looked like something you would see in Miami or Havana.

 

 COMMENT 506554 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-28 09:24 AM

The house that looks like a stack of books, back there in them hills.

 

 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-28 09:44 AM

Newberrys was on the corner of State and Carrillo, entrances on each street. The little Sees Candy store was on the actual corner where the sidewalks meet, sort of like a hunk taken out of Newberrys. The old dime stores on State were great places to shop.

 

 COMMENT 506660P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-28 11:13 AM

The log cabin house downtown. Is it on Bath? I don't remember the street. Can someone refresh my memory?

 

 COMMENT 506745 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-28 02:05 PM

Old gte building.

 

 COMMENT 506801 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-28 04:30 PM

Meridian Studios. Beautiful wax resist stucco/limewash. Nothing like them anywhere!

 

 COMMENT 506868P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-28 10:46 PM

Meridian Studios - one of my favorite buildings. Thank you for reminding me. Wendy has good eye for buying aesthetic buildings here.

 

 COMMENT 507442P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-31 02:40 PM

The building where the Savoy is is pretty neat. There's also one on State Street, I think next to Old Navy (the old Woolworths, speaking of). Lots of details.

 

33% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.

 

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