Page 78 - Montecito Journal Glossy Edition Winter Spring 2012/13

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spr ing
would establish a home in Santa Barbara in 1923, the organization was an
immediate success. Gray paid to bring the orchestra to Santa Barbara for
its first concert at the Potter Theater in March and was among those who
hosted the visiting directors at a supper at the new Montecito Country Club.
He personally bore the deficits during the first years the orchestra played in
Santa Barbara.
Gray involved himself in other civic organizations as well, becoming a
director of the University Club and working to secure an art museum in Santa
Barbara. In the interim, he placed art exhibits in County National Bank and
Trust, of which he’d become a director, as well as at the Margaret Baylor Inn,
today’s Lobero building on Anacapa Street. He donated a piece of property to
the School of the Arts and supplied other funding to them as well.
When the June 1925 earthquake devastated Santa Barbara, Martha
and David Gray were at their summer home in Nantucket, but rushed
back to assist the community. As owners of a Spanish-style house,
they embraced Bernard Hoffmann and Pearl Chase’s vision for the
redevelopment of Santa Barbara in the Spanish Colonial Revival
tradition. Gray gave $10,000 to help establish an Architectural Board
of Review and bore the cost of the operation of the community drafting
rooms whose architects helped builders, owners, and fellow architects
to create designs in the revival style, a romanticized version of Santa
Barbara’s past.
Both Martha and David became involved in beautification efforts in
Montecito itself. They spearheaded a campaign to get the roadways through
Montecito cleaned up and to place artistic road signs upon the highway
through Montecito. David encouraged Montecitans to replace their dull,
gray zinc mailboxes with more artistic receptacles. He commissioned
several designs from the best artists in Santa Barbara for residents to copy.
(left) David Gray
had an office at
Meridian Studios
where he conducted
his business and
endeavors (photo
courtesy of Santa
Barbara Historical
David Gray was a
member of the new
Montecito Country Club
and often entertained
there (Courtesy
of Santa Barbara
Historical Museum)
One of the “Rounders of the Knight’s Table” at the annual golf dinner of the Country
Club of Detroit in December 1913 was David “Dividend” Gray (fourth from right at
end of table) (Courtesy Detroit Public Library)
Morning Press
reported, “One box is painted in imitation of a covered
wagon… Another represents a small bungalow with red tile roof, green
window blinds and climbing vines over the side.” For some time, many of
these boxes were in evidence in Montecito.
David had an office at the Meridian Studios on De la Guerra Street
from where he ran his business and philanthropies. He was known to be
involved in numerous charities and the
Morning Press
reported that he
always listened to stories of need in the community with deep sympathy
and always gave assistance.