El Presidio SHP Reopens with Enhancements

by Anne Petersen

After being closed for fifteen months due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation is pleased to announce that El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park has reopened to the public with new enhancements designed to support public safety and an improved visitor experience.

Map from the new self-guided tour brochure for El Presidio SHP.

A new self-guided tour brochure presents updated information about the park, with a clear path of travel and an upgraded map. New signage complements the park with beautiful imagery and interpretive content. 

New interpretive sign at the excavated Presidio aqueduct. Photo by Michael H. Imwalle.

El Presidio SHP contains several exposed archaeological sites dating to the construction of the fort in the late-eighteenth century. The sites have all been enhanced with new protective rope and pole barriers.

Enhanced barriers at the Presidio northwest corner archaeology site. Photo by Michael H. Imwalle.

SBTHP has implemented Covid-19 public health protocols according to public health guidelines designed to protect the safety of our visitors and staff. New features include touchless hand-sanitizing stations throughout the park, plexiglass barriers in the Visitor Center, and an electrostatic sanitizing sprayer to disinfect commonly used areas, including park bathrooms.

Touchless hand sanitizing stations at the Park’s public restrooms. Photo by Michael H. Imwalle.

We are grateful for the support of the Union Pacific Foundation and California Humanities for their support of these important enhancements for public access to El Presidio SHP. With this support we ensured not only that we could reopen the park safely after an unprecedented public health crisis, but also that we could offer an improved visitor experience when we did reopen.

To plan your visit to El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park please click here.

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