Homes Of Santa Barbara From George Washington Smith Architect

by THAT Painter Lady

George Washington Smith Entrance Image Above

I’ve been looking for old history of the architect George Washington Smith – because I love his Spanish Colonial Style.  I recently ran across an old article published in 1922 (Western Architect and Engineer) and I thought I’d share some of it with you.  I’ve tried to edit it for typo’s and grammar… please excuse me if I missed anything.  I also included the parts that related to the architect – not all the “fluff”.

Architecture With a Personality

Homes by George Washington Smith Around Santa Barbara


A community which expresses its individual life in its individual way has vitality. Let us, then, congratulate ourselves that the complacent uniformity of a prospective American Style is compromised in advance by an intrusion recognizably Californian; that the neat simplicity of a “Californian Style” is visibly perturbed by northern and southern aspects; and that even in these convenient geographical pigeon-holes there are communities which are not abashed at being personal.

The work of Mr. George Washington Smith in and around Santa Barbara is an active force in shaping the course of one of the most distinctive and significant of these local developments.

Mr. Smith understands and loves Santa Barbara. He appreciates that it is a place of mellow beauty, made for the leisurely enjoyment of beautiful things. In seeking simplicity, harmony, and quiet good bleeding, he has achieved the expression of both his own personality and that of his background. Many architects never accomplish either.

His work is of Spanish lineage. There is no need, fortunately to argue the appropriateness of this tradition, esthetically and historically, to the Santa Barbara country. It has amply demonstrated its fitness; all of the designers in the group engaged in working out a serious Santa Barbara architecture have turned instinctively to one or another of its phases; it has received public approbation, even to the extent of lip service from speculating contractors.

Mr. Smith’s work looks back, not so much to the “Mission” architecture of early California as to the simple work of those parts of Spain which still retain sporadic piquant traces of the Moorish occupation. But it is free from the archaeological taint, personally conceived, and handled with refreshing freedom.

The country where Mr. Smith works asks for nothing better than simplicity, sobriety, sincerity, quiet taste and good breeding. These he has bestowed in generous measure. When an atmosphere as intensely human as his becomes the rule rather than the exception throughout our countryside the “See America First” propagandists will have something more valid than patriotism on which to base their pleas.

Warm sunshine gleaming on clean white walls between hillside oaks; luminous, transparent shadows across the native stubbly ground and luxuriant garden patches; spacious rooms behind cool gray reveals which temper the summer heat; all of these things have become integral with the country as inevitably as the building of longer standing in the Old World.

The academic critic might be moved to complain that Mr. Smith’s buildings contain no architecture, so uncompromisingly has he dismissed the entire paraphernalia of traditional architectural respectability. Picturesque masses of plain walls in undulating lime-white plaster; windows irregularly, judiciously spotted, but severely plain in generous reveals; tile roofs summarily clipped to a ragged edge almost at the wall line; only here and there a discreet touch of wrought iron or polychrome tile; no “motifs,” no “elements,” not even a main axis!

Only freedom, warmth, ease, content, repose.  Mr. Smith’s architecture will stand the test. Every pail and detail is inevitably, unerringly in its place. With serenity and a delicate human charm to boot, who can remain insensitive to beauty so mellow?

Pictures Of George Washington Smith Homes In Santa Barbara

Interior Views Of George Washington Smiths Living Room

George Washington Smith Santa Barbara Home Floor Plans


More George Washington Smith Architecture and Furniture Images


I love the style and architecture of these homes… I’d love to live in Santa Barbara!

I’ll have more stuff about Architecture in San Diego soon…

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