Architect Spotlight: Jeff Shelton

Architect Spotlight: Jeff Shelton



Jeff Shelton is the mastermind behind some of Santa Barbara’s most distinctive architecture.  His unique style draws comparisons to the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi.  

Jeff’s resume includes dozens of buildings in Santa Barbara, ranging from Spanish/Moorish to contemporary to farmhouse.  

He recently released a stunning coffee table book entitled The Fig District, which features captivating images and backstories behind some of his downtown Santa Barbara projects.  We’ve gathered some interesting tidbits about a few of the projects below.  Click on the project name to learn more about each one.

El Jardin - Built in 2015.  Famous for the pink scaffolding and clock that is misnumbered.  The odd angles are attributed to the strict guidance of the original owner’s feng shui consultant.

El Zapato - Built in 2016.  Commissioned by a woman who had stayed at the Ablitt Tower.  Shaped and named after the high top shoes commonly worn by the same woman.

Cota St Studios - Built in 2006.  Eight units connected by an interior courtyard.  Famous for their large, elliptical sliding doors.

Veracruz - Built in 2013.  Inspired by a house near city college called the “house of a thousand paintings”.  Covered with pieces from local artists.

El Andaluz - Built in 2009.  Mixed use building with even residential units and two commercial spaces, with a spectacular interior courtyard.

Ablitt House - Built in 2006.  Commissioned by the same family who owns the local favorite dry cleaning company downtown.  Famous for being built on a 20’x20’ lot!

Pistachio House - Built in 2002.  Famous for the four tile rugs that hang above the garage.

Casa Blanca - Built in 2011.  Restaurant that’s undergoing renovations currently.

State Street Underpass Remodel - Upcoming improvements to the walkways under highway 101.

For a more visual tour, visit our Instagram page to watch our latest Reel where we toured these buildings in person!

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