6/19: Todas las sedes de la Biblioteca Pública de Santa Bárbara estarán cerradas el miércoles, 19 de junio en conmemoración del Día de la Liberación (Juneteenth).


Del 21 de mayo al 14 de julio: la Biblioteca Eastside estará cerrada debido a trabajos de construcción.

Sidebar Widgets


Nicole Hernandez
Architectural Historian
(805) 564-5536

Historic Treasures Map


Historic Preservation


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.

Historic Landmarks Commission Meetings


1538 Alameda Padre Serra

Santa Barbara’s Historic Landmarks Commission designated this 1912 house at 1538 Alameda Padre Serra a historic Structure of Merit yesterday, June 7, 2023.  The house was one of the first constructed on the Riviera in the rare Secessionist style.  The style became popular in Vienna, Austria in the late 1800s and was the influence of modern movements to come including the  Bauhaus design school as well as the International Style and Art Deco. The Vienna Secession itself continued as a group until 1939, when the growing pressures of Nazism led to its dissolution. After World War II it reformed and has continued to sponsor exhibitions, both in the (rebuilt) Secession building and elsewhere.

The influence the Secessionists had on architecture in the United States can be summarized by the words of one of the most prominent architects at the time, Ralph Adams Cram, in a speech he gave in 1913 to the Contemporary Club of Philadelphia, in which he describe the Secessionists, those working in new modernist styles as one of the most important recent trends in the United States, especially in Chicago and the Pacific Coast, alluding to Frank Lloyd Wright in the Midwest and The Greene and Greene brothers California. Cram said he found the work of the Secessionists “striking, novel, and inordinately clever,” even “exquisite”. The lecture suggests what a profound impact the Secessionist movement in Central Europe had on the United States. Most American designers saw the work of Austrian Secessionists through exhibitions that toured the U.S. cities through various publications. 

The house at 1538 Alameda Padre Serra has the character-defining features of the style demonstrated in the embraced geometry and abstraction with the large geometric volumes of the building, the stark linear design and restricted ornamentation elegantly balanced with the natural elements of the wood windows, wide wood door, wood pergola over the porch upheld by simple columns.   

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