Main Entry to the Pratt House

The Craftsman Heritage

Casa Barranca has long been hailed as a triumph of the Arts and Crafts movement (1850-1915) —incorporating high principles that first evolved in Victorian Britain, in reaction to the human misery and environmental blight caused by the Industrial Revolution.

Architects and artists like John Ruskin and William Morris took the lead in the movement, calling for a return to small, craftsman workshops, where workers could regain the joy of handcrafting wares that were both useful and beautiful. They sought to widen the definition of Art, declaring that everyday objects could and should be made as uplifting and lovely as a costly painting or sculpture. They maintained that the hand-crafted items one lived with affected one spiritually—that the home, it's furnishings, its lighting, the pottery, the garden, resonate with the skill and creativity that the craftsman had invested in it.

Rejecting the cluttered and elaborately overstuffed parlors beloved by the Victorians, reformers called for a new simplicity of design, one that mirrored a simplicity in lifestyle. The Simple Life did not mean self-denial, but rather a return to physical, mental, and spiritual balance, an avoidance of excess and social striving, and an enjoyment of Nature’s bounty and tranquility. Nature was the ultimate source of inspiration, whether in home decoration, or for sane and healthy living.

Nowhere was this more true than in California, where the welcoming climate and natural abundance seemed a promised land to Arts and Crafts followers, including architects Charles and Henry Greene. For centuries, the homes of the wealthy had been power statements—built to stand out from their surroundings, visually reflecting domination over a tract of land. Arts and Crafts architects sought a different kind of statement, one that honored domesticity, the terrain, the region’s history, and indigenous building traditions—an aesthetic of integration, rather than subjugation. The brothers Greene took this design ethos to heart, embodying it in a house like no other, a haven of simplicity and natural richness that has endured nearly a century: Casa Barranca.

Our Mission Today
We carry on the Arts and Crafts values by creating a self-sustainable community which nourishes creativity, allows for individual spiritual pursuits and employs organic permaculture practices. We embrace the time-honored traditions of fine craftsmanship, durability, sustainability, simplicity of design and lifestyle, and an intimate working relationship with the land. The ethos of Open Mind, Open Heart, and Skilled Hand lives on at Casa Barranca.

The Casa Barranca Estate and Winery are not open to the public.