Kelly McAdoo starts her role as new City Administrator May 20th! Read more.


All SBPL locations will be closed on Monday, May 27th for Memorial Day.

5/21/24 - 7/14/2024: Eastside Library will be closed due to construction work.

Central Library's Book Drops will reopen on June 10th. Please come inside or visit a branch to return items.

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Nicole Hernandez
Architectural Historian
(805) 564-5536


History of Santa Barbara


The City of Santa Barbara realized the cultural and economic value of preserving its historic buildings earlier than most American cities. Because of early intervention, original Spanish Colonial and Mexican-era adobe structures still exist, providing a window to the City’s past. With a spectacular setting nestled between the mountains and the sea, bathed in a mild climate, the City has become a world-class tourist destination. The unique thematic Spanish Colonial Revival and Mediterranean Revival architecture found throughout the business district sets Santa Barbara apart from other California coastal cities.

In addition, Santa Barbara’s thematic business district is surrounded by a collection of residential neighborhoods, each featuring unique architectural styles. These vary from the Victorian styles, including Italianate, Eastlake, and Queen Ann found on the City’s Lower West Side, to the period revival styles of upper State Street, the exotic revivals of the Upper East Side, and the significant collection of Craftsman houses throughout the City.

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