National Register of Historic Places in Santa Barbara County
The adobe residence, Casa de la Guerra, was built between 1818 and 1828 with Indian labor for José de la Guerra, the fifth comandante of the Presidio. In addition to his military post, de la Guerra acquired four large ranchos, ran an active commercial trade enterprise and served as the patriarch for the local community.
His descendants occupied the building until 1943.
The adobe house was the site of many important 19th century events including community festivals, religious celebrations, weddings and visits by explorers, dignitaries and merchants. In his book, Two Years Before the Mast, Richard Henry Dana described the wedding of de la Guerra's daughter Anita to Alfred Robinson:
"The bride's father's house was the principal one in the place, with a large court in front, upon which a tent was built, capable of containing several hundred people. On these occasions no invitations are given, but everyone is expected to come."
In 1857, the house was altered to repair damage caused by the 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake.
between 1910 and 1914, the house was remodeled again to restore the adobe exterior, add electricity and introduce craftsman-style finishes.
In 1922, Bernhard Hoffman began constructing the El Paseo complex behind the Casa and adapted two wings of the home into shops. El Paseo was designed in the popular Spanish Colonial Revival Style. The Casa was remodeled to blend with the new design.
Following the 1925 earthquake, the Casa and El Paseo served as models for rebuilding downtown Santa Barbara.
In 1971, El Paseo and Casa de la Guerra were donated to the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. During the 1990s, the Trust restored the Casa building to its appearance between 1828 and 1858.
Source: Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
When we photographed the Casa de la Guerra in March of 2017, it housed a museum run by the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.
Historic Adobe Buildings