4/15-5/3: Central Library Lower Level/Children’s Library area will be closed due to construction work.

Sidebar Widgets

Nicole Hernandez
Architectural Historian
(805) 564-5536

Historic Treasures Map


City Landmarks


A City Landmark is a structure, site, cultural landscape, or feature having historical, architectural, archeological, cultural, or aesthetic significance that is designated by City Council. It is the highest distinction given to a historic resource in the City of Santa Barbara. Under no circumstances is a Landmark allowed to be demolished unless there is an unforeseeable act of nature such as earthquake, fire, or other natural disaster. 


Eligibility Requirements

The structure, site, or feature must be 50 years of age, meet one or more of the criteria outlined below, and retain historical integrity--in location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, or association.

  • It is associated with events that have made a significant contribution in our past;
  • It is associated with the lives of persons significant in our past;
  • It embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, architectural style, or method of construction, represents the work of a master, possesses 15 high artistic or historical value, or represents a significant and distinguishable collection whose individual components may lack distinction;
  • It yields, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history; or
  • Its unique location or singular physical characteristic represents a neighborhood's established and familiar visual feature.

Designation Procedure

Contact Architectural Historian

Designation begins with a nomination by the Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC), a property owner, or a member of the public. Contact the City's Architectural Historian with your request. 

HLC Recommendation

The HLC reviews nominations at a public hearing to determine if the Significance Criteria are met. If so, the HLC recommends the City Council designate the Landmark.

In preparation for public hearings, staff prepares a presentation and a notice is published in the newspaper and mailed to surrounding property owners.

City Council Designation

The HLC's recommendation is sent to the City Council. If the Council decides to designate the Landmark, they must adopt a resolution for designation. The designation becomes effective with the adoption of the City Council resolution. The designation is then recorded with the County Recorder.