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Top Residential Architects in Montecito and Santa Barbara History

exterior design of top residential architect These four top residential architects of Montecito and Santa Barbara brought their own unique style to our area

    • George Washington Smith
      Architect George Washington Smith is Montecito’s and Santa Barbara’s most admired home designer, hands down. Credited as the founding father of the California Movement in Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, he and his artistic sensibility made a lasting impact on the look and feel of our area. Smith originally lived on the East Coast and worked in the bond market. Designing homes was his second career. It may have been his second career, but designing homes was definitely his destiny. His amazing creations made Smith one of the most popular architects of his time. Back in the day, his works were featured in major architectural and design publications and are still the gold standard today for distinctive Santa Barbara and Montecito architecture.


    • Frank Lloyd Wright
      Frank Lloyd Wright also influenced the design of high-end houses in Montecito and Santa Barbara. After two decades of designing, Wright received his first commission here in California. The Stewart House holds the distinction of being a prime example of his Prairie-style architecture, the only one of its kind west of Nebraska. Designed in 1909 and built in 1910, the original plans for The Stewart House included the main residence, a cottage for the gardener, horse stables and a simple work shed. The 4,691 square foot Montecito home, made of redwood, featured more than 350 windows, creating a natural flow between the inside and outside, the architectural standard for the quintessential Santa Barbara lifestyle. Created as a vacation home for a Scottish accountant and his family, the 6-bedroom, 3.5 bath home originally sat on five acres. The house stands on a single acre today is a prime example of Wright’s artistic style.


    • Lutah Maria Riggs
      Lutah Maria Riggs holds two amazing distinctions. Besides being the first female to be a licensed architect in Santa Barbara, Riggs is known as the first woman in California to be named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Riggs began her architectural career in 1920 as a draftswoman and designer for architect Ralph D. Taylor. She worked with Taylor for only a few months before moving to Santa Barbara. Once here, she became a draftswoman for our most heralded architect, George Washington Smith. In a short amount of time, Riggs became extremely influential in the firm and the industry. In fact, some of Smith’s most well-known buildings were designed by Riggs. Check out this virtual tour of Riggs Santa Barbara.


  • James Morris
    Warner, Morris & Wilson Architects was established in 1966 with partners Jack Warner, James Morris, and Charles Wilson. Their first job was to convert the old lemon packing house in Montecito into Birnam Wood Country Club. That success led to other country clubs, golf clubs, and private resorts. In time, the firm added custom estate and high-end residential projects to their specialties; focusing on upscale neighborhoods around the country including right here in Santa Barbara and Montecito. The firm retained the name of Jack Warner, a highly-regarded Santa Barbara architect and is still in business today. Known as the company is still recognized as an authority within the fields of Architecture and Interior Design.

If you are ready to buy a masterpiece from one of these top residential architects of Montecito and Santa Barbara, you’re in luck. I happen to have a stunning contemporary Montecito home designed by James Morris, AIA, listed on my comprehensive website and pictured above. The home is an homage to the quintessential indoor-outdoor lifestyle that Morris is known for creating. I have many other amazing listings in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, too, so please, give me a call at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal(at)montecito-estate(dotted)com. I can also help you sell your property in the area.

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