The Bookshelf: “Spanish Colonial Style: Santa Barbara and The Architecture of James Osborne Craig and Mary McLaughlin Craig”


The city of Santa Barbara adopted the Spanish Colonial style, leaving the city with a distinct Spanish character, during the rebuilding after the 1925 Santa Barbara earthquake and beyond. The traditional architectural elements highlighted by whitewashed stucco and plaster walls, wood-beamed ceilings and dramatic fireplaces are very much a hallmark of this style.


Sketches of home addition and gardener’s cottage inspired by Andalusian architecture – Montecito, CA


The Gantz House (Montecito) with red tile roof and whitewashed walls, is a perfect Spanish Colonial example.


The husband and wife team James Osborne Craig and Mary McLaughlin Craig’s architectural work is celebrated in this book, SPANISH COLONIAL STYLE Santa Barbara and The Architecture of James Osborne Craig and Mary McLaughlin Craig by Pamela Skewes-Cox and Robert Sweeney. Their love of Spanish Colonial Revival and of other styles of architecture in Santa Barbara is well documented in this new book, by Rizzoli, “shining a long overdue spotlight on the rich career of these tremendously influential architects, Spanish Colonial Style also heralds Santa Barbara as the small city of international importance that it became in the first half of the twentieth century.”

Emmor J. Miley House designed by Mary McLaughlin Craig – Montecito, CA.


This team has so intrinsically defined the style of the Santa Barbara of today, that the El Paseo shopping plaza renovation led by James Osborne Craig, was a part of one of my favorite films: It’s Complicated. Remember the scene when Meryl Streep goes to visit her therapist? Yes, that scene was filmed along the back corridors and entrance of this very plaza!


El Paseo Plaza renovation by James Osborne Craig, an iconic open air shopping area in Santa Barbara even today.

More news: