The Potter Hotel

The fourth installment of my historical Santa Barbara blog series is very Unknown part of Santa Barbara, The Potter Hotel.


The Potter Hotel is an unknown part of Santa Barbara because this story doesn’t end happily, I am just warning you it ends with a tragedy. The Potter Hotel was a magnificent, luxury Hotel in Santa Barbara and was built in 1902, and was later opened on January 19, 1903. The Hotel had six stories, 400 rooms(with balconies or pourches), three dinning rooms that could hold over 700 guest, roof gardens and spectacular view of the beach and the ocean. The Potter employed over 500 people, which included 100 waiter/waitresses, 40 dishwashers, 15 busboys, 35 chefs, and around 20 musicians. The Potter diverted from the norm, when they announced that they would be open all year round. The Potter also later added a country club in hope ranch in 1909 which featured a nine-hole golf course, horse racing track, polo grounds and other amusements. In 1919 the Potter hotel was sold and renamed the Belvedere Hotel, and later that December it was sold again and renamed the Ambassador Hotel.


Then tragedy strikes the Potter Hotel, On April 13, 1921, a fire engulfed The Ambassador (The Potter) Hotel, by the time the Santa Barbara and the Montecito fire department, all the of the 110 guests and the 500 employees got out mostly unscathed. but the fire spread to quickly and completely burned down within a few hours. Soon after the Hotel downed the owners promised that it would be rebuilt, but never happened. the cause of the fire was found to be a faulty wire.The property was subsequently acquired by several Los Angeles businessmen for a development of small cottages. This Santa Barbara landmark was a big part Santa Barbara economy and as it burned the economy lost a big part of its revenue.


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