2544 Third Street

Known As
Third Street Neighborhood Historic District, Airplane Bungalow, Craftsman
2544 Third Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Extensively restored and enlarged, this building demonstrates how a deteriorated historic home can be transformed, with care and immense effort, into a home for contemporary living.

The architecture is called an “Airplane Bungalow” because the smaller second story resembles the fuselage of an airplane.  The house displays many classic Craftsman Bungalow features, such as massive, prominent structural beams, broad overhanging eaves, exposed rafter tails, multiple low pitched-horizontal rooflines, wood shingle cladding, bands of windows lighting the interior, and a generous front porch.  The arroyo stone piers and chimney are unusual in our beach town, found more typically in foothill locations such as Pasadena and Sierra Madre.  The original owner was a Main Street butcher.

When the house was acquired by Scott Campbell in March 2000, it had been abused by tenants for many years.  Doing all the restoration work himself, Campbell has been carefully restoring all the original architectural materials and features, reconstructing others, and transforming this house into a highlight of the Third Street Historic District.

To construct a new foundation, the house had to be lifted up on cribbing (supportive framework).  To do this, the arroyo boulders had to be carefully removed and stacked for later reconstruction.  With the slope of the hill allowing a third story to be built in the rear, the original dirt floor carriage house underneath was reconfigured and expanded into a large living space with a rear terrace.  The insertion of the lower level significantly expands the house in a way that is sensitive to the original design and character.

The house contains many original Craftsman elements, which are being restored.  The wainscoting and plate rail in the living room are being removed piece by piece, stripped, refinished, and reinstalled.  A built-in secretary has a Holmes Disappearing Bed that slides out from a bottom panel.  Original windows have been restored.  The exterior barn shingles, too decayed to restore, have been exactly replicated and replaced.  Where floors were too ruined to save, vintage maple boards salvaged from the San Diego Naval Training Center have been used.

The upstairs bedroom area has been enlarged, and a new rear deck inserted into the roof. The kitchen, completely remodeled with modern appliances, has also been enlarged but looks just as before from the exterior.  By careful planning, the living area of this house has been doubled from 1450 sq. feet to 3100 sq. feet. and a beautiful Craftsman home has been restored to its original beauty once again.