This stately ocean-view historic Craftsman home in Ventura was built in 1911 for Ida Foster, the daughter of E.P. Foster – the “father of Ventura” – and her husband, Frederick Neill Baker, who opened the first hardware store in the city. The home is one of the few two-story shingle houses remaining in Ventura, and an excellent representation of the Craftsman-style bungalow.
Listed as Ventura Historic Landmark No. 109, the seven-bedroom, five-bathroom 4,367-square-foot home has been lovingly restored with custom woodwork and detailing, maintaining its original character.
Guesthouse above the garage
Above the garage is a guesthouse built in 2006 in a style that mimics the main house. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom detached space offers ocean views and has its own address and entrance. The guesthouse shares the Craftsman design, featuring vaulted ceilings with exposed beams and beautiful woodwork throughout. It makes a fabulous rental property.
On the main floor of the historic house is a formal dining room, a sunny room that can be used as a parlor, reading room or office, a large bedroom with access to the rear courtyard, and a remodeled bathroom. The spacious living room features an elegant fireplace and carved-wood mantel.
Home chefs will appreciate the large, main-floor kitchen with an island and built-in wine refrigerator.
The primary bedroom is one of two upstairs bedrooms with vaulted wood ceilings, balcony, and fabulous ocean views. The primary also boasts a large en-suite with marble counters, soaker tub, walk-in shower, and a wraparound walk-through closet with custom wood built-ins. A total of four bedrooms are upstairs, along with a large laundry room with ample storage. For year-round comfort, both homes have air conditioning and tankless water systems.
The property is near to all that downtown Ventura offers: theaters, dining, shopping, the pier, and much more.
About the Foster family:
Eugene Preston Foster (1848-1932), commonly known as E. P. Foster, was a rancher, entrepreneur, banker, and philanthropist. A native of Illinois, he moved to California and, in the early 1870s, settled in Ventura County. His early ventures included sheep ranching, managing a local water company, developing natural gas wells along the Ventura River, and planting and operating an apricot orchard. He then acquired an interest in the Bank of Ventura and served as its president from 1890 to 1917, when it was acquired by the Bank of Italy. He also invested in the Union Oil Company of California.
Foster became known as one of the area’s most important philanthropists in the early 20th century. He established and donated several parks, including Camp Comfort, Foster Memorial Park, and Seaside Park. He also planted trees throughout the City and County of Ventura and donated Ventura’s main public library, the E. P. Foster Library. He also helped fund the construction of Community Memorial Hospital, which was known as the E. P. Foster Memorial Hospital from approximately 1932 to 1962.
Daughter Ida Foster married Frederick Neill Baker in 1908, and was an active partner with her husband in the design of this residence to accommodate community events. She was a locally recognized gracious hostess to many local leaders in the home, and attended and helped plan functions there that raised capital for needed city programs. Ida was described as someone who loved to entertain, and her home was known as the center of her social generosity on behalf of the community.