George Washington Smith (1876-1930) was an American architect who played a significant role in shaping the architectural landscape of Santa Barbara, California. He is best known for popularizing the Spanish Colonial Revival style in the region.
Smith was born in East Liberty, Pennsylvania, and initially pursued a career in finance. However, after a trip to Santa Barbara in 1916, he fell in love with the city's natural beauty and decided to become an architect. Inspired by the white stucco buildings he had seen in Andalusia, Spain, Smith began designing homes that blended Spanish and Mediterranean influences.
Smith's architectural style emphasized simple yet elegant designs, with clean lines, white stucco exteriors, red tile roofs, and wrought iron detailing. He incorporated features such as courtyards, arches, and ornamental tiles, reflecting the Spanish Colonial Revival style that became synonymous with Santa Barbara architecture.
Some of Smith's most iconic works include the Casa del Herrero (House of the Blacksmith), El Hogar (The Home), and the George C. Stewart House. These homes exemplify his mastery of blending indoor and outdoor spaces, creating harmonious and inviting environments.
George Washington Smith's architectural legacy had a profound impact on Santa Barbara's aesthetic identity. His designs helped establish the city's distinctive architectural character, which continues to influence and inspire architects and homeowners in the region to this day.