Gathering to Explore City’s Past, Present & Future

Harrison Design is working with the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, Downtown Santa Barbara and the City of Santa Barbara to present “Santa Barbara: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow” from June 6 to 8. 

The free symposium is open to the public and will consider the city’s present and future urban design needs, Downtown Santa Barbara officials said.  

“The goal of the symposium is to understand how Santa Barbara became the enviably beautiful city we have today, and to discuss how these principles can be used to address our current challenges,” said Anthony Grumbine of Harrison Design in a press release. “It is an event for everyone who cares deeply about the future of the city, whether they be historic preservationists, planners, architects, developers, property owners or engaged citizens.”  

Faced with new challenges, including state-required housing mandates, many cities across California and the country are looking for ways to revitalize their core and provide housing for growing populations. Santa Barbara is no different, but is perhaps better situated to answer these concerns because of its well established and architecturally successful “city DNA,” event organizers said. 

They said participants will learn how the city developed its unique character, and how these principles can be employed to satisfy the needs of today.  

On June 6 from 5 to 7 p.m., guests are invited to a welcome reception and architectural drawing exhibition in collaboration with UC Santa Barbara Art Design and Architecture Museum at Alhecama Theatre at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park, 215-A E. Canon Perdido St. 

“We are looking forward to welcoming the public to the recently restored 1925 Alhecama Theatre at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park for the opening reception,” said Anne Petersen, executive director of the Trust of Historic Preservation. “What a special treat to have the beautiful historic drawings of downtown Santa Barbara from UCSB Art Museum’s Architecture and Design Collection on view in this historic building.” 

The symposium begins at 9 a.m. June 7 at Alhecama Theatre. After a welcome and introduction by Petersen and Anthony Grumbine, Dennis Doordan, emeritus professor at Notre Dame University will present a lecture on “Traditional Urbanism.”  

The day continues with panel discussions and lectures and includes lunch for participants at Casa de la Guerra. June 8 begins with a “Watercolor Meet-Up” at the Santa Barbara Courthouse at 10 a.m. and ends with a closing brunch. Events are free to attend, but registration is recommended since space is limited. For more information about the program, and to register, click here 

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