Green Homes

House of Rye - Showalter Property, Santa Cruz, CA



Property owner, Barbara Louise Showalter

About the Owner:

Musician, Singer, Artist, and Writer: Barbara Showalter, 63, of Pennsylvania Dutch descent, born and raised in Palo Alto, CA, taught developmentally disabled children in Santa Clara Valley, then, later relocated to Santa Cruz, CA to live near her grandmother (Ermyle Kathryn “Kate” Rye) in a victorian home along-side Kate’s 1881 historical, victorian home, where she now resides permanently.

After receiving her bachelor's degree at San Jose State University, Barbara attended Cabrillo college, in Aptos, CA, where she was secretary of the literature and language department before redirecting her career focus to real estate at the request of her late grandfather, William Rye, a metal-smith and landowner. In addition to her relation with the late poet, Robert Frost, Barbara's late cousin, Fulton J. Sheen was a Roman Catholic Arch Bishop at St. Patrick's Parish in New York.


Arch Bishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895 – 1979)
 Read more about Arch Bishop Sheen, here:

Barbara’s mother, Francis Louise Rye, born in Bremerton, Washington, was an actress, movie producer, and singer. Barbara didn't see her parents much, as her mother was always on the road with the show, so, she was mostly raised by her grandparents.


Barbara's Step-Father and Mother, Francis Louise Rye


Barbara Showalter's late Grandmother, Ermyle “Kate” Rye

The property (approximately 3/4 of an acre behind the Art League (Art League Address: 526 Broadway, Santa Cruz, CA 95060), was originally owned by the Cooper’s of the Cooper House, downtown  Santa Cruz. The Coopers sold the property to a Moroccan or Ethiopian Prince and his wife and in the early 1800s, the property was used as a dairy farm.


Image of Art League location

Kate obtained the property in the early 1970s??? from a prominent family. The father was a Santa Cruz County Assessor for a number of years and he had two daughters living with him, who were concert pianists.


1881 Historical Victorian Kate and William Rye owned that sits on the front of the property

 Barbara Showalter standing beside her Victorian that stands beside the 1881 Historical Victorian

“Kate” Rye was an artist and friend of other well-known artists, such as: The late Georgia O’Keeffe. In keeping in line with the artistic community the Santa Cruz area is now known for, Barbara has decided to dedicate the property to her Grandmother, Kate, by turning it into a retreat/retirement/art and Music hall/community of 55+ artists/musicians. She plans on building approximately 20 units on the land, while refurbishing one or both of the historical Victorians, one of which will be turned into a club house with a pool nearby. 

Barbara has a local architect lined up who has worked on retirement communities in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz, as well as a builder ready to move ahead with the project.  The community has given Barbara very positive acceptance of the Senior Artist community concept and the Santa Cruz City Counsel has approved zoning for the.

If you have any questions or interest in investing in the project or know of anyone who'd be interested, please contact Barbara Louise Showalter at, phone number (831) 212-2111, or her partner, Loretta Sapino at

Property Description:

  • Ocean City of Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay Views
  • Acre fenced and gated
  • Parallel to Ocean Street Corridor
  • Parcel # 010-551-12 is 4bd/2ba single family home
  • Parcel # 010-551-07 is duplex with finished basement
  • Parcel # 010-551-09 is vacant lot
  • Ingress & Egress from Ocean St and Jessie Street

Land Use Plans & Policies:

  • Zoning is RM & RL
  • Use of Planned Development for rental residential may qualify the site for Density Bonus Resulting in 2-3 additional units
  • Maximum building height 36ft above finished grade allowing for 3 story apartments or condominiums
  • Above underground parking which will maximize space and views
  • The general plan encourages the highest density possible. 
  • The property/planned development should qualify for a negative declaration/no EIR. 
  • In addition the water and sewer capacity is ok

 Investment Options:

  • Owner is willing to participate in development of the property and will consider responsible proposals by qualified investors and/or developers
  • Owner is willing to provide very attractive flexible rates and terms with the intention being to create a win/win outcome for all parties.


 Images of Anticipated Development of Surrounding Areas and Lot Measurements


Images below of the future Villa Portofino where 80+ units will be developed for county police, fire, and teachers residences. The Villa will be next to Barbara's Property.



 Showalter's Land Parcel


The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost (1874–1963)
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,    
And sorry I could not travel both    
And be one traveler, long I stood    
And looked down one as far as I could    
To where it bent in the undergrowth;             
Then took the other, as just as fair,    
And having perhaps the better claim    
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;    
Though as for that, the passing there    
Had worn them really about the same,    
And both that morning equally lay    
In leaves no step had trodden black.    
Oh, I marked the first for another day!    
Yet knowing how way leads on to way    
I doubted if I should ever come back.    
I shall be telling this with a sigh    
Somewhere ages and ages hence:    
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,    
I took the one less traveled by,    
And that has made all the difference.