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Stewart House (1909)

The Stewart House is near Santa Barbara beach

Before closing up his Oak Park studio in Chicago and heading to Europe in late 1909, Frank Lloyd Wright put together blueprints for what would then be his only Prairie-style residence in California: the Emily and George C. Stewart summer cottage, located in Montecito, CA, about a half mile from the Pacific Ocean in Santa Barbara. The design for the vacation home-to-be came at the request of wife Emily, who had seen articles about Wright’s Prairie-style homes in magazines. Completed in 1910, this almost 5,000 sq. ft. “summer cottage” would be Wright’s only Prairie-style residence, and one of 24 residences in the state.

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Tours

This home is privately owned and not available for tours. 

Please respect the owners’ privacy and do not trespass on the property.

Location

196 Hot Springs Rd, Montecito, CA

Some 80+ years later – after four other owners, some ill-thought-out remodeling and a bit of disregard for necessary maintenance – the 6 bedroom, 3.1 baths, 4,691 sq. ft. home sold in late August of 1993 to author T.C. Boyle and his wife, Karen for $995,000, although the home is now estimated to be worth $6.4M. Boyle, of course, is the author of The Women, a novel about Frank Lloyd Wright, his three wives and Mistress, Mamah Borthwick Cheney.

Not exactly a typical Wright Prairie-style home, the architect used less brick and stucco for this California house; the exterior is shiplapped redwood siding and boasts 365 windows – all original. Public rooms include redwood-framed casement windows that allow an abundance of natural light to enter.

The Boyles have dedicated themselves to restoring the home to its “original historic character”, no small task when one considers the fact that the foundation was replace with concrete (instead of the original that was on piers) and the house was “earthquake-retrofitted.”
There is so much more, but you should really see it for yourself… if you could. Unfortunately, because it is privately owned, tours are not available. 

Places to Stay near Santa Barbara

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About Me

Yvonne Carpenter-Ross

FLW Enthusiast & Webmaster

Architecture and home design have always fascinated me. As a young girl I enjoyed drawing floor plans, rearranging my parent’s furniture and playing with Lincoln Logs and Legos.  My passion has always been the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Since I have been old enough to drive a car, I have visited Frank Lloyd Wright homes in the Chicagoland area and attended the Wright Plus house walks. Now, as co-owners of Northern Sky Designs, my husband & I are able to combine our website design skills and FLW travels to bring you this website! Enjoy!

Yvonne Carpenter-Ross