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Historic Preservation

The Architects
The Styles
Historic Structures/Sites Reports
Survey of Historic Resources 1978-86
Historic Resources and Districts

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.  

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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.

The Architects
Alexander D'Alfonso Arthur Page Brown
Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, FAIA Carleton Winslow, FAIA
Edwards and Plunkett Francis Underhill
Francis Wilson George Washington Smith
Harriet Moody Henry Howell
Howell and Arendt John Andre Gougeon
Joseph Plunkett Julia Morgan, FAIA
Keith Lockard Lionel Pries
Leonard Austin Cooke, AIA Louise Murphy Vhay
Lutah Mariah Riggs, FAIA Mary McLaughlin Craig
Myron Hunt, FAIA Peter Barber
Reginald Johnson, FAIA Richard Neutra, FAIA
Robert Ingle Hoyt, FAIA Roland Frederick Sauter
Russel Ray Sauter and Lockard
Soule, Murphy and Hastings Thomas Nixon
Wallace Neff William Edwards
William Weeks Winsor Soule, FAIA

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

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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

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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

Historic Resources and Districts

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

1. A City Landmark
List of Historic Landmarks
2.  A Structure of Merit
List of Structures of Merit

3. The Historic Resources Inventory

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.

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*The Activity which is the subject of the historic significance reports has been financed in part with Federal funds from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, through the California Office of Historic Preservation.  However, the contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of the Interior or the California Office of Historic Preservation, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Department of the Inferior or the California Office of the Historic Preservation. Regulations of the U. S. Department of the Interior strictly prohibit unlawful discrimination in  departmental Federally-assisted programs on the basis of race, color, sex, age, disability, or national original.  Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility operated by a recipient of Federal assistance should write to: Director, Equal Opportunity Program, U. S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, P. O. Box 37127, Washington, D.C. 20013-7127


For more information, contact:

Nicole Hernandez
Architectural Historian
(805) 564-5536

Community Development Department
630 Garden Street
PO Box 1990
Santa Barbara, CA 93102


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:

Click here for the web map app including property search *

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.

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Last Updated: Sep 22, 2021
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