Santa Barbara, California -Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett joined Santa Barbara Mayor Marty Blum and other members of the city council today to recognize the Preserve America community designation for Santa Barbara. During the event, a designation certificate signed by First Lady Laura Bush, Honorary Chair of Preserve America, and the community road sign were unveiled. The event took place at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, a National Historic Landmark.
“Each community has its own story,” said Scarlett. “These stories present opportunities—opportunities for heritage tourism, education and historic preservation. Through Preserve America, and with the help of the Preserve America grant program, these stories come alive.”
“We are so fortunate to be here in Santa Barbara,” Mayor Blum said. “Whether we get a glimpse of the Victorian homes or red-tiled roofs from the Harbor, from the Riviera, or right here from the Courthouse, we can find many reasons to appreciate what Pearl Chase* and other early preservationists set out to do, and what our present day citizens work hard to perpetuate.”
The City of Santa Barbara (population 91,621) is often referred to as the American Riviera. Beautiful beaches, majestic mountains and colorful culture make Santa Barbara a premier resort destination. The City has its origins in the construction by the Spanish of the Presidio de Santa Barbara in 1769. In order to preserve the historic character and architectural beauty of the city, Santa Barbara has embarked on an ambitious plan to conduct historic property surveys in each of its neighborhoods over the next twenty years.
Santa Barbara’s designation as a Preserve America Community provides national recognition for what the community has achieved, while also serving as a way to enhance the contribution of heritage tourism and other economic development strategies.
Preserve America is a White House initiative to encourage and support community efforts for the preservation and enjoyment of our priceless cultural and natural heritage. The goals of the initiative include a greater shared knowledge about the nation’s past, strengthened regional identities and local pride, increased local participation in preserving the country’s heritage, and support for the economic vitality of our communities. For more information on the Preserve America initiative, visit www.PreserveAmerica.gov.
*From 1927 to the 1970s, Pearl Chase was chair of the Santa Barbara Plans and Planting Committee and helped establish many of the standards that contributed to the architecture and preservation of Santa Barbara.