Architectural firm’s new digs date back to Hollister era
Built by the descendants of Col. William Wells Hollister in 1930, the three buildings at 911 and 919 Chapala St. are now the architectural offices for the new Appleton Partners: Marc Appleton, Ken Mineau and Andrew Scott.
“The structures were the headquarters for the powerful and influential Hollister family for years. The progenitor of the family, W.W. Hollister, was Santa Barbara’s wealthiest and most influential citizen from the 1860s to 1880s,” according to a news release from the firm. “A native of Licking, Ohio, he drove a herd of 6,000 sheep overland from Ohio to Califonira in 1852.
“W.W. Hollister became a major figure and most respected benefactor in Santa Barbara. He established Santa Barbara City College in 1869, financed the building of Stearns Wharf and opened the Arlington Hotel as well as the Lobero Theatre. The Hollister Estate office building continues to display a wooden sign bearing the family cattle brand WH,” the release noted.
In early 2019, the Appleton Partners acquired the historic set of buildings, which have been renovated into three working offices: The Adobe, which is the former Hollister Estate office building; The Studio, the former Hollister Estate carport, and The Marc Appleton Library, the former James D. Crawford & Associates real estate offices.
Many of the original elements in the adobe were retained, including the fireplace and hearth. The Studio is newly renovated for the architects, draftsmen and designers.
The library is filled with Mr. Appleton’s favorite design, art and travel books collected over a 40-year period. It will be open for various events and for the architectural community to visit and enjoy.
“It is nice to be downtown in the thick of Santa Barbara’s urban core, ensconced in a complex of smaller historic buildings,” Mr. Appleton said. “I never thought our library would wind up taking over what was lately a hair salon, but there it is.”
According to Mr. Mineau, the previous owner of 44 years, Mrs. Nancy A. DeLoreto was grateful to receive and accept the first offer to purchase the property from Appleton Partners knowing that the future of the adobe was in good hands.
“During escrow, I witnessed Mrs. DeLoreto personally visit the site each night to make sure all was secure because the DeLoreto family had a vested interest in the future history of Santa Barbara. She recognized Appleton Partners’ architectural work in historic preservation and chose to accept our offer before showing it to the commercial real estate market later that week.”
The managing partner and director of operations for the firm, Mr.Mineau earned his degree in architecture at UC Berkeley. After practicing in the U.S., he designed several projects in Japan and China before becoming manager of the Southeast Asia Office of the Berkus Group Architects and director for Kaplan McLaughlin Diaz Architects in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Mr. Appleton founded Appleton Partners in 1976 and is well known as an architect, author, speaker, historian and philanthropist in Southern California. He earned his architecture degree from Yale University and has been a resident of Montecito since 2007. For three years, he worked in Santa Monica with world-famous architect Frank Gehry.
In 2015, he restored “Florestal,” the 1925 Spanish Colonial Revival home in Hope Ranch of his grandparents, Peter Cooper Bryce and Angelica “Girlie” Schuyler Bryce. The restoration took five years.
Mr. Scott, who is design principal for the firm in Santa Monica, earned his architecture degree at USC and practiced in Los Angeles, Denver, Southern California and Australia. He has a masters’ degree in urban design and architecture from USC.
A celebration and official opening during construction was delayed due to COVID-19 and may be planned for the fall, contingent upon safety regulations.
“Stay tuned as we celebrate the new buildings and growth with all of Appleton Partners architects and associates in Southern California and the U.S.,” said Mr. Appleton.