White picket fences and steps leading up to wide porches are characteristic of older Santa Clara homes currently in photographs on display at the Santa Clara Senior Center. From now through the end of December, Gabriel Ibarra’s photographic exhibit “The Harrison Block, Washington St., Lafayette and Fremont St.” is open to the public.
“Each year I focus on a certain area of the historic home quad area,” says Gabriel Ibarra, photographer and Santa Clara resident. “In the display case, my pamphlet describes the area that’s considered the fourth section of the historic home quad area, which is Harrison St., parts of Lafayette St. and parts of Washington St. I focused a lot on the Harrison block which is one of the oldest blocks in Santa Clara and part of a neighborhood here that is still intact.”
Ibarra photographed about 18 homes for the exhibit.
“On some photographs, I focused on certain sides of the home, such as craftsmanship details, the type of workmanship that was inherent in home building back then,” he says. “On the Harrison block, there are features, such as decorative shingles, sunburst panels, stained glass, carved floral patterns, and two-dimensional geometric ornaments to highlight certain areas of the house.”
Many of the homes shown in Ibarra’s exhibit were built during the 1880s and possibly even earlier, he says.
“The things of the past have something of value for us because our ancestors have been in the area and the homes are a tie to the past,” he says. “I’m trying to put to light the beauty of this area and compare this to the big developments that are going on. I want to show people that we still have beauty in our neighborhood even with all the changes.”