Established as a City park in 1899, Plaza del Mar was a favorite location for strolling and outdoor gatherings. The Plaza del Mar band shell, a designated City of Santa Barbara landmark, was constructed in 1919 to provide a venue for public concerts. Five thousand people attended the opening concert on May 4, 1919, which featured a 22-piece municipal band.
A popular venue for many decades, the Band Shell hosted concerts, dramatic performances, recitals, and speeches. Designed in the Mission Revival style by Winsor Soule, it is the only remnant of the iconic entertainment structures which once graced historic Plaza del Mar.
Community interest in the band shell for concerts, dances, rallies, and other events has grown in recent years. Public parks, such as Plaza del Mar, became vital to community health during the pandemic. This inspired community interest in the revival of outdoor concert venues. Plaza del Mar continues to host community events. Still, the use of the Band Shell has declined, and the building has fallen into disrepair.
An assessment of the building condition in October 2020 revealed that the band shell needs structural repairs to the building frame, roof, and the wooden stage surface in addition to facade repairs. Electrical upgrades and restoration of the original lighting will allow a wide range of future uses. Lastly, the renovation will achieve accessibility improvements to the building and the stage.
Renovation of the Band Shell will revitalize Plaza del Mar for music, drama, dance, and celebratory events. As a public park, the City provides low-cost access for non-profit organizations that serve a broad cross-section of the community.
The Parks and Recreation Community (PARC) Foundation is partnered with the Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department to raise the funds needed to achieve Band Shell renovation. To make a donation to this exciting project, please visit the PARC Foundation website at parcsb.org.
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Agenda with participation sign-up link