English Country Estate In The Heart Of Montecito
Built in 1928, this gracious English Country estate, designed by architect Benjamin B. Horner, retains its original grace and charm. Refurbished over the years with great attention to detail, this 6 bedroom historic property is situated on 1.8 acres of lush, mature trees and gardens with views of the ocean and mountains. This well-known jewel of an estate features an exquisite stone terrace overlooking large expanses of lawn, beautiful gardens and a large swimming pool and spa, which create a wonderful environment for outdoor entertaining and dining.
Skilled craftsmen contributed hand-carved, linen-fold woodwork, massive stone fireplaces, hand-hewn beams and leaded windows and doors. The first floor of this gracious estate features magnificent living and dining rooms and library, all with beautiful fireplaces. Also on the first floor are a charming sun-room overlooking the terrace and gardens, large country kitchen with fireplace, sun drenched family room with large fireplace, maid’s bedroom and bath and first floor laundry. The second floor features a large master suite and sun lit sitting room, both with fireplaces, four additional bedrooms and second floor laundry. The lower level includes a guest bedroom and bath and extensive storage areas.
Featured in Santa Barbara Architecture book, the home at 165 Middle Road was to be Horner’s best work. Local craftsmen were used for the construction of this gracious estate. Horner’s plans were derived from his extensive photo studies of English architectural details taken while he traveled through England from 1921-1924. All of Horner’s homes reportedly have a cast iron heraldic plaque fixed to the back wall of the main fireplace. This plaque represents a crest divided in four quarters where three quarters illustrate a redwood tree, an ax and a home.
Horner and Hawkins met in L.A. when Horner had a small stone front office and displayed a model of a home made out of shirt-board with a sign saying, “I will build this home on your lot.” Hawkins was a Hollywood promoter who saw an opportunity as a spec builder and the two proceeded to build 10 or 15 high quality homes in the L.A. area. There is some information that Horner may have also contributed to the famous Harold Lloyd estate in Beverly Hills.
The home at 165 Middle Road was to be Horner’s best work for Hawkins’ own home. Financial reversals forced Hawkins’ sale to Harry lee Taft in 1929 while the home was still under construction. Taft supposedly made a fortune during the stock market crash. All the work on the home was done by local craftsmen. Horner’s plans were derived from his extensive photo studies of English architectural details taken when he traveled England from 1921-1924. These photo albums have been donated to Cal Poly School of Architecture. There are no hallways in the public portion of the home and every room except the library has ocean views.
Benjamin and Ester Horner were married in 1931 and their first home was built by Horner at 75 Olive Mill Road. When Highway 101 was dedicated, it took much of the side yard. Horner’s lived in Santa Barbara from 1931 till 1948 when they moved to Ojai.
Horner designed and built several other homes in Santa Barbara. Most appear to be extremely authentic period revival homes.
Horner also designed and built unspecified homes on Sola Street, Padre Street in Santa Barbara, and two homes on Depot Road in Montecito which were lost to Highway 101, a home in the Painted Cave area, the Green Tree Ranch in Carpinteria and a wonderful Spanish revival at 1179 High Road.
Horner also remodeled a home at 1199 Summit Road when he dug out the living room floor in order to raise the ceiling height. This was the home leased by Charlie and Una Chaplin.
All of Horner’s homes reportedly have a cast iron heraldic plaque fixed to the back wall of the main fireplace. This plaque represents a crest divided in four quarters where three quarters illustrate a redwood tree, an ax and a home.
-Living Room: 17 X 30
-Master Bedroom: 18 X 23, plus alcove
-Dining Room: 15 X 22
-Master Sitting Room:15 X 20
-Kitchen: 19 X 20
-Bedroom #2: 12 X 14
-Family Room: 18 X 28
-Bedroom #3: 15 X 17
-Library/Office : 12 X 17
-Bedroom #4: 10 X 12
-Sitting Room: 10 X 14
-Bedroom #5 : 10 X 12
-Lower Level Guest Room: 17 X 19
-Study/Maid Room: 12 X 13.5
-Garage: 2 Garages, 1 Car Each
-Gravity Heat and Forced Air
-Air Conditioning: Family Room, Master Bedroom Suite
-Family Fruit Orchard
-Fireplaces: 7 (3 Wood Burning, 4 Gas Log)
-Exterior Gas Firepit
-Montecito Union School District
-Walled and Hedged for Privacy
Exclusions To Sale Of Property:
-Chandelier in master bath
-Chandelier in kitchen
-Chandelier in dining room
-Dining room curtains
-Valances in boy's room
-Andirons in dining room