Santa Clara residents eagerly awaiting the Historic Home Tour in December can get an early fix of the city’s historic architecture by visiting photographer Gabriel Ibarra’s 3rd Annual Santa Clara Photography Exhibit at the Santa Clara Senior Center, 1303 Fremont Ave. This exhibit, set up behind the display cases in the reading area, shows 15 photographs depicting the city’s historic homes. The exhibit will run until Oct. 31.
“My work displays the diversity and character of the homes we have here in Santa Clara,” says Ibarra, a Santa Clara resident. “Most homes [in my exhibit] were built in the late 1800s. These homes have roof lines and trims around the windows. Each home is unique. The City of Santa Clara has about 38 different homes on their historical homes list. I got pictures of 15 of them. I would normally take three to seven images of a house to get an image I’d be happy with.
“One of the homes I featured in my exhibit is the Landrum House; it’s a gothic revival style home, the first of the Victorian period styles,” Ibarra continues. “I also featured the Berryessa Adobe, a former home. It’s the last remaining portion of the area that is tied to Santa Clara University. It was built around 1840.”
Ibarra explains how “Anytown, USA” architecture is different from historical homes.
“If you take, for instance, [a typical strip mall], the colors and styles don’t have much augmentation,” he says. “You can see these kinds of malls anywhere and that’s why you call them ‘Anytown, USA.’ But the historical homes, they have color, they have a distinct style, and their characteristics are unique. Each home has its own presence.”
Ibarra has been photographing images of landscapes, open spaces, and historical architecture for 25 years. He took photography classes at Foothill College, De Anza College and West Valley College, and studied photo editing at Mission College.
“I like to go around [the city] and discover something historical in my own backyard,” says Ibarra. “I look for lines that are distinct, whether they are symmetrical or irregular. I also like light and shadows, so I would take pictures either early in the morning or early in the evening.”