Discover Our Neighborhoods

Explore Santa Monica on a self-guided tour or from the comfort of your home with one of our free digital tour brochures! Donations are welcome and appreciated.

Titles include:

The Architecture of John Byers
Living in a Landmark
South Beach Neighborhood
Adelaide Drive
Spectacular Vernacular
Preservation Resource Center
Downtown Walking Tour
Third Street Neighborhood Historic District
Santa Monica WALL to WALL

Download now or scroll down for more information on each title.


The Architecture of John Byers

 The Armstrong-Cobb residence seen across backyard of a large two-story Spanish Colonial revival home with a 2nd story verandah and patio behind a green lawn and two large mature trees.

The Armstrong-Cobb residence.

Discover six historic locations built in Santa Monica by master architect John Byers. Inspired by the traditional architecture of Latin America, Byers was self-taught and opened his own tile factory at 26th Street and Colorado Boulevard. Byers designed more than 200 homes in Southern California, influencing the architectural landscape of Santa Monica and the Westside.

The tour brochure includes early homes exemplifying Byers’ mastery of the Spanish Colonial Revival style and his private residence on La Mesa Drive, where he lived for nearly 30 years before he died in 1966.

Living in a Landmark

 Double beams support a steeply pitched roof punctuated by two gables over the porch of a modest two-story craftsman home. The exterior is finished with white clapboard siding with green trim.

2504 3rd Street, 2424 4th Street and 2101 La Mesa Drive. Photo: Brian Thomas Jones/Santa Monica Conservancy

Contrary to popular myth, landmark buildings are not frozen in time. By evolving and adapting to meet the needs of successive owners, they remain useful and endure over many lifetimes. The homes in our Living in a Landmark Tour brochure exemplify many creative solutions to finding the balance between historic preservation and modern functionality.

Discover an outstanding Craftsman home from 1908 that has been owned by a single family for more than a century, an 1875 Methodist Church transformed into a private residence, an award-winning adobe Mexican hacienda and more.

South Beach

 Three modest two-story homes in an eclectic mix of early 20th century residential styles frame a view of palm trees, sand and the ocean beyond.

Photo: Steve Loeper/Santa Monica Conservancy

This seaside neighborhood features an eclectic mix of architecture from American Foursquare, Craftsman and Dutch Colonial to Italian Revival, Mission Revival and more. Constructed largely between 1901 and 1905, this section of Ocean Park was the impetus for a seaside housing boom on our City’s south side. Learn why much of the area was razed in the 1960s and how residents successfully advocated to protect the properties that remain today. See how these historic homes have been updated for modern life.

Adelaide Drive

 Two horizontal rows of large multi-story homes, including several from the early 20th century, are viewed from the opposite side of a canyon. Lush green landscaping and mature trees surround the architecture.

Photo: Steve Loeper/Santa Monica Conservancy

Explore the contemporary and historic homes of Adelaide Drive, built in the early 20th century by wealthy pioneer families. Early residents included silent screen star Anita Stewart as well as Roy Jones, son of Santa Monica co-founder Senator John P. Jones. Today, five of these residence are still standing as designated landmarks, and the area remains popular with artists and writers, including architect Frank Gehry, cartoonist Matt Groening and author Mona Simpson.

Spectacular Vernacular

 A small one-story Spanish colonial revival home with a white stucco exterior, red tile roof and bright green side gate sits on a lot surrounded by native plant landscaping. The structure features a modern front door and window assembly with wooden louvers.

829 25th Street. Photo: Joshua White

Discover the architectural qualities and charm of five vintage homes throughout Santa Monica with our Spectacular Vernacular Tour brochure. Explore a cottage from 1897 as well as Craftsman and Spanish Colonial Revival residences. Learn how these homeowners chose to retain their historic homes and modify them for contemporary living rather than demolish and start anew.

Preservation Resource Center

Photo: FormLA Landscaping

The Shotgun House was built in 1897 at 2712 Second Street in Ocean Park. In the 1890s Ocean Park was being subdivided and settled and was growing fast as a resort area. In Ocean Park’s first phase of development, shotgun houses were built or brought in by rail to serve as vacation cottages near the beach. This house was originally located just two blocks from the Santa Fe railroad depot in Ocean Park and within easy reach of the area’s tourist attractions. As such it is linked with one of Santa Monica’s oldest and most important industries – tourism.

Today, it serves as a model for adaptive reuse and showcases an important piece of Santa Monica’s history. This little house has achieved remarkable things! Since opening in 2016, it has welcomed and educated thousands of visitors, earned LEED Gold certification for its green building strategies, and has received several awards.

Downtown Santa Monica

 A perspective view of the two-story Churrigueresque Majestic Theatre is rendered as a simple line drawing showing architectural details on the front elevation including floral ornament over the high arched central bay, decorative vertical shafts, and wrought iron balconettes.

Downtown Santa Monica’s first theater, the Majestic Theater, was built in 1929.

Explore a lavish Art Deco hotel that doubled as a speakeasy during Prohibition, Downtown’s first theater and more! Our beautifully illustrated Downtown Santa Monica booklet offers 28 pages of early Santa Monica history, 24 architectural sites, 3 lost buildings, a convenient walking route and a helpful glossary.

Third Street Neighborhood Historic District

A small early 20th

2621 2nd Street, built in 1875.

Explore Santa Monica’s first historic district neighborhood, designated in 1990, which protects a high concentration of historic structures exemplifying the early development of Ocean Park. The area preserves many circa-1900 bungalows as well as four structures from the late 1800s, including landmarks like the 1893 Hostetter House as well as what may be the oldest wooden structure in Santa Monica.