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City Historic Resources

City Landmarks

A landmark is any structure, natural feature, site or area having historic, architectural, archaeological, cultural or aesthetic significance and designated as a landmark under the provisions of Municipal Code Chapter 22.22.

City Structures of Merit

A structure of merit is any structure which is deserving of official recognition as having historic, architectural, archaeological, cultural or aesthetic significance, and which is designated a structure of merit under the provisions of Municipal Code Chapter 22.22.  A structure of merit is not a designated City Landmark.

City’s Potential Historic Resources List

A property listed on the Potential Historic Resource list has been identified eligible for possible designation as a Structure of Merit, or as a City Landmark following the process outlined in Municipal Code Chapter 22.22.

Potential Historic Districts Lists of Contributing, Conditionally Contributing and Non-Contributing Structures:

Historic Districts

A grouping of properties may qualify collectively as a Historic District. A historic district is a formally designated group of buildings, structures, sites, and spaces that relate to one another historically, architecturally, and/or culturally. A district can span part or all of a neighborhood. It can be large or small, can represent any architectural style(s), and can include streetscape and landscape elements. A Historic District can contain both contributing and non-contributing resources. A contributing resource is a building or structure that contributes to the designation of an area as a Historic District. The area’s overall cohesiveness, uniqueness, and architectural integrity are what matters when designating a Historic District. Individual buildings within a district do not need to be highly significant on their own.

Santa Barbara has three designated Historic Districts:

  1. Brinkerhoff Avenue Landmark District
  2. Riviera Campus Historic District
  3. El Encanto Hotel Historic District Staff Report | El Encanto Hotel Historic District Map

The City of Santa Barbara conducted several Historic Resource Surveys that identified the following potential historic districts.

Demolition Review Ordinance

When exterior changes are sought on structures 50 years old or older, it triggers a review for potential historic resources.  This ordinance is designed to help preserve Santa Barbara’s historic character.  The Demolition Review Ordinance requires the review of structures proposing full or partial demolition on properties located within the Demolition Review Study Area.  The public may request a Historic Resource Evaluation for their property by providing some basic information on the property and any proposal being considered.


Last Updated: Feb 1, 2016