Plaza de la Guerra is once again at the forefront of community conversations about Santa Barbara’s downtown revitalization. On December 18, 2020 the City’s De la Guerra Plaza Revitalization Advisory Committee recommended that City Council move a newly-designed concept plan out of the Committee and into the City’s Development Application process. The concept plan had been in the works for over one year. You can read more about the origins of this recent work here and sign up for project updates here.
The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) is an active stakeholder in this revitalization process. We held a seat on the recent Advisory Committee at the invitation of City Council, but that reflects only our most recent engagement. In 1999, SBTHP worked with the City to create and exhibition about the history of the Plaza as well as an accompanying catalog of the exhibit, Plaza de la Guerra Reconsidered, which was published in 2002.
On June 12, 1999, SBTHP hosted a related symposium titled “Plaza de la Guerra Reconsidered: Past is Prologue” which was held in City Council chambers. The symposium was introduced by SBTHP Executive Director Jarrell jackman and moderated by Chief Curator Patrick O’Dowd. Speakers included:
- Dora P. Crouch, Professor Emeritus, School of Architecture, Renessalaer Polytechnic Institute, New York
- Wayne Donaldson, FAIA, Milford Wayne Donaldson Architects (and later CA State Historic Preservation Officer and Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation)
- Dave Davis, Community Development Director, City of Santa Barbara
- Carroll William Westfall, Chair, School of Architecture, University of Notre Dame, South Bend
- Robert Winter, Professor Emeritus, History Department, Occidental College, Los Angeles
With the City’s recent renewed interest in making improvements to the Plaza, we believe the symposium would be of interest to the community and the presentations still hold great relevance. We are grateful that Tony Ruggieri of Santa Barbara City TV was able to transfer the contents of a VHS tape in the Presidio Research Center collection and upload them to the City of Santa Barbara’s YouTube Channel, which you can view below or by clicking here!