Greene & Greene Virtual Archives
Charles S. Witbeck House
Santa Monica, California, 1916-17
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Charles S. Witbeck House
Santa Monica, California

In late 1916 Charles Witbeck rejected Henry Greene’s initial design for a two-story house as too expensive. By January 1917, however, a modified version was presented and accepted, one that showed more modest detailing and less variation in the overall massing. The Witbeck house faces north along Santa Monica's Palisades Avenue, and a deep rear garden enjoys the sea breezes and sunny exposure on the south. By 1917, a budget of $9,000 could not pay for an elaborate house, but the high-ceilinged stair hall lighted by a large, north-facing window created a dignified and dramatic entry. The exterior is distinguished by robust timbers at the portico and porches, and the characteristically close attention to detail in the hand-hewn wood joinery.