WOOD GLEN HALL – SANTA BARBARA’S FIRST RETIREMENT COMMUNITY
The story of Wood Glen Hall can be traced back to the vision of Mrs. Aileen Barnes Wood and her husband Adrian (Buddy) Wood.
After the end of World War II, the need to provide for the growing population of senior citizens became evident. Having the elderly live with their children and grandchildren was becoming less feasible as the children moved away to obtain employment.
Responding to this need, the Woods spent three years studying ways they might help. They decided after consulting with gerontologists to establish a new type of facility here in Santa Barbara where seniors could reside comfortably at reasonable cost.
In April 1955 a suitable site was found at the intersection of Alamar and Foothill Road. Mr. Wood purchased the five acres out of his own pocket for $36,000. The property had been part of Willowbrook Farm, a dairy farm that extended from Alamar to Laurel Canyon Road and north into the mountains. The farm dates back to before 1924. Milk, butter and eggs were purchased directly from the Joe Corbelli family, owners of the farm. It ceased operation during World War II. The huge cow barn and milking sheds were landmarks on Foothill Road until their demolition.
In September of 1955 a San Francisco architectural firm, Stone, Mulloy, Marraccini, and Paterson, which specialized in hospitals, was retained to design a building containing thirty single rooms and ten doubles. Plans for the one story Spanish Revival with modern touches went to the Planning Commission on April 15, 1956. Construction commenced in September. The facility was completed by October 1957.
Wood Glen Hall, after nearly 56 years, continues to reflect the vision of its founders Aileen and Adrian Wood in providing “elderly men and women with an ideal, non-institutional home at minimum cost.”
Written by: Kellam de Forest