The three houses at the end of Del Playa are historic mid-XX century international style homes by noted local architect Richard B. Taylor built in 1957, 1967, and 1968. The later two still exist; the first one (also called the Sunset House) was destroyed and replaced in 2013. They were built for UCSB professors, and they're among the few buildings designed in Isla Vista by significant architects and almost fifty years old or older.
Address: Del Playa Dr, Goleta, CA 93117, USA (34.40978, -119.869377)
Type: Private Property
Two of the houses are called the Hodgkins and Skubic (or Scubic) Houses because they were built for Jean L. Hodgkins and Vera Skubic, two women who were a couple and professors at UCSB, Hodgkins in ergonomics and Skubic in physical education. The story, as told by a longtime resident of this end of Del Playa, is that they commissioned their first house (the middle brown one at 6881, called the Sunset House) in 1957 and lived in it for a while, then decided to commission a new house for themselves (the west blue one at 6885) in 1967 based on what they liked and disliked about living in the first one. A 1975 book called “Santa Barbara Architecture, from Spanish Colonial to Modern,” pretty much the authoritative book about local architecture, said "First Hodgkins and Scubic House. 1957 Richard Taylor, arch. 6881 Del Playa, Goleta. Built of steel, set on a block pedestal containing the utilities." and "Second Hodgkins and Scubic House. 1967 Richard Taylor, arch. 6885 Del Playa, Goleta. Upper portion opens to an ocean view, set prominently on a block pedestal, the building's ground floor. A simple and effective statement using common materials of redwood, block, and glass in its construction." A 1977 guidebook to architecture in Southern California also mentions these houses in its discussion of Isla Vista: "Architecturally, the only objects of note are three houses at the west end of Del Playa by Richard Taylor and the second Married Student Housing Project west of Los Carneros (1971-72) by Killingsworth & Brady. The 3 houses reflect three versions of the changing taste of the International style. The first, at 6881, is a metal box on stilts; 6885 is a wood shed-roof box suspended above the ground; 6877 is a sort of New-Brutalism concrete box on concrete stilts." This book was co-authored by David Gebhard, a UCSB professor and architectural historian. The earliest one, the middle brown house at 6881, was commonly called the Sunset House. In the 1990s and 2000s, it had been a rental house known for cooperative living, music, art, and friendly relaxed parties. Despite its historic significance, it was torn down in 2013 and replaced with new construction.
Who: Jean Louise Hodgkins (October 29, 1914 – August 7, 1987) and Vera B. Skubic (January 7, 1921 – July 23, 1998), aka Elvera Scubic
Jean Hodgkins and Vera Skubic were professors at the University of California Santa Barbara -- Hodgkins in Ergonomics and Skubic in Physical Education. They commissioned this house from architect Richard Taylor at a time when the property was on the very edge of development. A 2003 Nexus article explains that Hodgkins and Skubic "both played major roles in the development of women’s athletics and ability to participate in recreational activities on American campuses during the 1970s. Prior to their arrival, the words “female” and “athlete” were not mentioned in the same sentence." Following Hodgkin's death in 1987, Skubic established an annual Jean Hodgkins Memorial Scholarship for outstanding women athletes at UCSB. Skubic died in 1998.
Queer Places, Vol. 1 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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