Available for the first time in over 30-years, the Rafael Gonzalez House is an historic house located at 835 Laguna Street in the historic center of the city of Santa Barbara. Built in 1825, it is one of a small number of surviving adobe houses from the Mexican period of California’s history. The original adobe received an addition in 1956 matching its style historic elements. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on April 15, 1970, and added to the National Register of Historic Places. The building was recently home to a bookstore, Randall House Rare Books.
The Gonzalez House is located north of Santa Barbara's central business district, on the south side of Laguna Street between East Canon Perdido Street and East De La Guerra Street. It is a single-story adobe structure, with seven rooms. It is built in the U-shape (with the longest part being parallel to Laguna Street) and stands on a hill, separated from both Laguna and Canon Perdido streets by garden walls. Its walls are up to 2 feet thick, covered with lime plaster and its long sides are sheltered by wooden verandas. When built, it had packed-earth floors, which were tiled during restoration in the1920s. The roof is covered in terra cotta tile and the verandas are covered with wood shingles.
The building was constructed in 1825 by Rafael Gonzalez, a landowner who in 1829 became an alcalde of Santa Barbara. At this time, Santa Barbara was a part of Mexican California. After his death, in 1866, the house was inherited by one of his daughters, Francisca Ventura Gonzalez de Ramires. She lived in the house until 1923, when it was sold out of the family. It has seen mainly commercial uses since then.
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