The small town of Isla Vista is a unique community inhabited mostly by college students. Although the majority of its inhabitants are young, many of its buildings have been there for decades. One of the most well known streets in Isla Vista, Del Playa, is home to some of the oldest and largest homes in the small beach town. Many of these homes were built at the edge of cliffs, and due to powerful wave impact over the years, the cliffs are beginning to erode, leaving many home foundations exposed. Because of the impending danger that this cliff erosion presents, many oceanside properties in Isla Vista will eventually be torn down. The notion of tearing down these antique treasures is very unsettling for those who appreciate the beauty of the original designs and foundations of the vintage homes.
“Instead of chopping the houses and destroying them, it’s important to keep the footprint and also the design that’s in them,” says architect Angelica Hogarth.
One very unique property is a house on the 65 block of Del Playa. Known as the “Tiki House” to some Isla Vista residents, the house was built in 1905 and is over 100 years old. In order to preserve it, the owners hired Hogarth & Associates Architects to move the whole house 35 feet back from the cliffs, hoping to preserve the original property for another 70 years.
Of course, the task of moving an entire house is daunting and takes time; Hogarth & Associates Architects has been planning this move since 2006 and was recently granted a permit from the county to do so. The whole process of moving the house takes about four months—the house will be ready to rent out again in September, just in time for the new school year.
“The house itself is now saved from 1905, it’s over 100 years old, and nothing’s going to the dump. Everything is being recycled, the whole house,” says architect Donald Hogarth. Watch our video of this remarkable house move here.