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Walking Tour of the Historic Rancho Santa Fe Village
Item 8 of 16

The rowhouses, with joint walls and similar floor plans, were designed to provide private residences within the Village commercial district. Lilian Rice gave each a separate and distinct exterior along the street, with lovely gardens behind high walls in the Spanish style. Completed in 1927, two have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today they remain private residences.

Building, Plant, Tree, Cloud

Plant, Flower, Sky, Building

As Rancho Santa Fe began to grow in population in the 1920s, additional housing space was needed in the center of town. The SFLIC commissioned Lilian Rice to design a block of four row houses to front on Paseo Delicias. There is a fifth row house that is believed to be designed by Rice because of its similar style and character to the other four homes. However, this has not been confirmed. Construction of the row houses began in 1926 and the finished product (completed in 1927), which has been noted as one of Rice’s finest achievements, resembles the style of the Old World Spanish village homes. 

The building marks the full maturity of Rice’s style because of the separate exterior facades created from different materials and colors that make the homes appear as if they were built separately over time, despite sharing joint walls and having similar floor plans. 50 percent of each unit's property is occupied by patio and garden space and in line with the true Spanish style, these were surrounded by tall stucco walls to ensure privacy for its occupants and to allow for the intermingling of indoor and outdoor space. In addition, much like the La Flecha house, the row houses were also built with modern electric appliances. 

A unique fact about the construction of the row houses is that since construction of the row houses began after the four units were sold, Rice was able to tailor plans to the buyers’ desires and requirements. Through consultations with her, buyers were able to adjust the number of bedrooms and the placement of other rooms, such as dining rooms and kitchens, to fit their needs.

Today, two of the row houses, the Spurr-Clotfelter Row House and the Megrew Row House/Pearl Baker Row House, have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • 6108 - Millar House
  • Currently still under the ownership of the Millers since 1927. First owned by William Hartney Millar and Marian Millar. The former worked for the CalCanadian Bank and opened an office in RSF.
  • 6112 - Spur-Clotfelter House
  • Presently listed on the National Register and was built for Louise Garvey Spurr in 1926. She lived there until 1931 and later married Hal Badger. Later, Reginald Clotfelter, a worker for SFLIC and later the manager of La Morada Hotel (The Inn), moved into the home after her. Currently, the house is kept in the Clotfelter family as a rental property.
  • 6118 - Nelson House
  • Built for Ruth and Sydney Nelson in 1926. Nelson was the first ranch manager of the SFLIC and he and his wife advocated for preserving the character, values of tradition, and history of the ranch (Ruth published her book Rancho Santa Fe Today and Yesterday in 1947). Their son, Bob Nelson (a WWII lieutenant colonel in the US Army Air Force) lived in the row house until 1954).
  • 6122 - Megrew House
  • Currently on the National Register. It was built in 1926 and was originally owned by the SFLIC until 1939, when it was sold to Edith Megrew. Her husband, George, became RSF’s first postmaster in 1927. Currently, much of the ~1,223 square foot original house remains.
  • 6126 - Moore House

This row house was constructed for the landscape architect for the SFLIC, Glenn Moore. Ida May, his wife, was the first female

postmaster in RSF. This house is often referred to as “Casa Blanca” because of its white stucco facade.

Historic American Buildings Survey (27-28), RSFHS Row Houses Pamphlet. Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Archives of Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society

Archives of Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society