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Santa Barbara’s Architectural History: Pacific Ready-Cut Homes

April 8th, 2024


Santa Barbara experienced a significant economic boom in the early 20th century, leading to a surge in population. In order to meet the growing demand for housing, numerous residential areas were constructed using prefabricated kit homes. These homes were efficiently assembled and boasted modern designs, making them an attractive option for many homebuyers. Many of the homes built in the 1930s still stand today, offering a unique glimpse into the city’s architectural history.

The Southern Pacific Railroad Company completed the northern segment of the coastal railroad linking Los Angeles with Northern California in 1901. The completion of the railroad created a thriving economy within Santa Barbara, primarily tied to the expansion of the city’s resort industry. This and other improvements, such as the construction of an expanded rail yard, the building and expansion of hotels, and the opening of the State Normal School in 1913, drew many workers to the city. This can be seen in Santa Barbara’s population, which increased dramatically from 7,000 residents in 1900 to 34,000 in 1940.

To meet the increasing demand for housing, many new areas were carved, and neighborhoods were constructed using prefabricated kit homes. While the Sears Home Kits were widespread, the Pacific Ready-Cut Homes also entered the industry and were a popular option for homeowners looking for affordable and efficient housing solutions in Santa Barbara. These homes were shipped to the buyer’s desired location in pieces that could be easily assembled and constructed. Many Pacific Ready-Cut Homes still exist in Santa Barbara today, and they were built during this period. Unlike traditional home construction, which could take months or even years, home kits could be assembled in a matter of weeks. This made them an attractive option for people who desired to move into their new home quickly. Home kits were often advertised as modern and stylish, with features such as arched doorways, decorative tile work, and large windows. They were also intentionally designed to be energy-efficient, with features such as double-paned windows and insulation, and constructed using precision engineering techniques, aiding to ensure a tight fit between the various components of the home.

One of the most notable examples of these homes in Santa Barbara remains the Bungalow Heaven neighborhood, which was developed in the 1920s and 1930s. This neighborhood features over 500 homes, many of which are Craftman-Style Pacific Ready-Cut Homes. Despite being prefabricated, the Pacific Ready-Cut Homes were built to last. Many of the structures that were built in the 1930s are still standing in Santa Barbara today, testifying to their quality and durability. The homes have also stood up well to the test of time, with many of them having undergone renovations and updates to modernize them while still retaining their original charm.

Featured Pacific Ready-Cut Property:

2827-2829 Serena Road

Offered at $2,425,000

This Samarkand dream property seamlessly blends vintage charm with modern amenities. Built in 1930 as a Pacific Ready-Cut Home Kit, it boasts two homes on one lot.

Exemplifying its street name, this residence is nestled within a serene, quiet neighborhood with sidewalks and underground utility lines. It is conveniently located near local favorites, including shops, restaurants, and parks.

If you’re in the market for a charming residence in Santa Barbara, you might want to consider one engineered by Pacific Ready-Cut Homes. These homes are not only beautiful and charming, but they also offer a unique opportunity to own a piece of our city’s history. Today, these homes stand the test of time and continue to provide a glimpse into a bygone era of Santa Barbara’s architectural history.

If you’re looking for an adobe with plenty of character and a story, a Pacific Ready-Cut Homes might be the perfect fit for you.

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