We are strong proponents of preservation at The Hamilton Co., especially when it comes to legendary estates rich in history and bedecked with extraordinary original beauty. Montecito’s Casa Del Herrero (Home of the Blacksmith) is an example of this.
Designed by architect George Washington Smith and completed in 1925, the estate is noted as one of the finest examples of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture in America. The home’s original owner George Fox Steedman, who was an amateur architect himself, built Casa Del Herrero as a second home for his family and then ended up moving there in later years where he spent his days enveloped in the home and his hobbies of blacksmithing and horticulture. Today the entire 11-acre site is owned and operated as a historic house museum and garden by the non-profit Casa del Herrero Foundation, with the goal of preserving the house and grounds, as well as the family’s collection of antiques, books, sketchbooks, drawings, and horticultural records. The house is also considered an icon of America’s Country Place Era.
The estate, for those of us with connections to the Santa Barbara area, beckons to the heyday’ of Montecito in the 1920s when this architectural look and style was innovative and new taking influence from the antiquities, architecture and gardens of the Mediterranean Europe, thus becoming synonymous with the style and sophistication that the area retains today.
A synthesis of culture, artistic expression, natural environment, and historical antecedents permeates the home through details of the Spanish Colonial style including massive white washed stucco walls, deeply recessed doors and windows, special decorative and intricate ironwork, a proliferance of tile work both inside and outside, interior shutters and lots of ornate carvings on fixtures and other decorative accessories. A gem inside the house, the octagonal library, immediately belies a sense of overall peace and calm.
The house is so renowned that esteemed “bastion of good taste” publisher Rizzoli International, published the book Casa del Herrero, the Romance of Spanish Colonial by Robert H. Sweeney, in 2009.
Tours of the Casa del Herrero house, gardens and workshop are available by reservation. We highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area. Visit online here.
The Art of Living blog is written by The Hamilton Co. Contact us at 805-284-8835 or via email at [email protected] or [email protected].