Just in time for the holidays, the cute little gingerbread-style house across from the Santa Barbara News-Press building on Anacapa Street is going to be torn apart. Maybe that’s a little more Hansel and Gretel than it is holiday cheer, but you get my drift.
The small Victorian-era cottage, listed as “Myers Carpenter Gothic Cottage” on the City of Santa Barbara’s List of Potential Historic Resources, was built in 1886, though some reports suggest a construction date of the 1850s.
“On scrutiny, the house reveals its possession of features and charm evocative of a Gothic revival style popular in Victorian times: in particular, steeply pitched gable roofs, gingerbread bargeboard and pointed arches,” wrote Shelley Bookspan in the historic structures report of the property, which found that the cottage’s “continued embodiment of certain traits important to history render it qualified as a Structure of Merit.”
The cottage has served as everything from a single-family home to a general store to a real estate office, but was converted to a duplex in 1944.
“The issue of renovation came up almost three years ago, when the Historic Land Commission urged the owner to renovate the building because they thought it was a key element of the historic fabric,” said Project Manager Lisa Plowman of Peikert Group Architects.