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Historic Preservation

Introduction to Designated Properties and Districts

Due to a long tradition of historic preservation in Santa Barbara, the City has a vast amount of historic buildings, landscape elements and historic districts.  Preserving our historic structures allows us to retain a tangible connection to our past as well as act as an inspiration for future progress. Protecting and promoting Santa Barbara’s valuable historic resources boosts civic pride, economic prosperity and gives residents as well as visitors a visual reminder of our shared heritage. 

Our Historic Treasures - Web Map

The City maintains information on the year, style, architect and history of historic buildings for better understanding of the history and importance of our architectural repertoire:

 

Map may not reflect recent designations and all historic properties. Development of the map is still in progress and staff will be adding information on the historic resources.  Please call Nicole Hernandez, Urban Historian at (805) 564-5536 for more information.

 

The City of Santa Barbara has four different types of local historic resources

1. A City Landmark

2. A Structure of Merit 

3. Buildings Eligible to be Designated Historic - link coming soon

4. Historic Districts: 

Santa Barbara has four designated 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
  4. El Pueblo Viejo

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

The Architects

Santa Barbara was so fortunate to have a cadre of talented architects that designed the beautiful buildings of our city. Provided is information on some of the most noted architects to practice in the city. Click here to view the Architects

The Styles

An architectural style is a specific way a building was designed that is characterized by unique and notable qualities. A style may include such elements as form, method of construction, materials, and regional character. As an ever evolving art, architecture is normally classified as a chronology of styles that reflect changing fashions, beliefs and religions, or the emergence of new technology. Historic architectural styles therefore convey the history, culture and development of a community. This brief architectural styles guide is designed to provide the basic tools necessary to recognize some of the prevalent historic architectural styles that exist within Santa Barbara. This is only a selection of styles and more styles of Santa Barbara architecture will be added as they are completed. Adobe English Vernacular and Tudor Gothic Revival American Colonial Revival Italianate Italian Mediterranean Stick Spanish Colonial Revival Queen Anne Mission Revival Queen Anne Free Classic Folk Victorian Craftsman.

  • Architectural Styles - Cover
Architectural Styles
Gothic Revival Italianate
Stick Queen Anne
Queen Anne Free Classic Folk Victorian
English Vernacular and Tudor American Colonial Revival
Italian Mediterranean Spanish Colonial Revival
Mission Revival Craftsman
Adobe  

These videos below are a companion to the written Historic Architectural Styles of Santa Barbara Guide. The brief architectural styles guide and videos are designed to provide the basic tools necessary to recognize some of the prevalent historic architectural styles that exist within Santa Barbara. 

Architectural Style Videos
Architectural Style Introduction
Architectural Style Credits
Gothic Revival
Italianate
Stick
Queen Anne
 Queen Anne Free Classic
Folk Victorian
English Vernacular and Tudor
American Colonial Revival
Italian Mediterranean
Spanish Colonial Revival
Mission Revival
Craftsman
Adobe

Historic Structures/Sites Reports

The City utilizes the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines for determining the significance of a project’s impact to historic resources. Some projects are required to evaluate potential impacts in a Historic Structures/Sites Report prepared by a qualified historian and then formally reviewed by the HLC. All the Historic Structures/Sites Reports reviewed by HLC are now available on-line: Click here to view the reports

Survey of Historic Resources 1978-86

Between 1978 and 1986 staff and volunteers conducted a survey of many of the Downtown properties. Each survey form is now available. Click here to view the surveys

Last Updated: Oct 17, 2019
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