Library Plaza Improvement Project Begins Design Phase

Redevelopment Agency and Design Firm Hold Public Workshops

The first of these public workshops will be held on Saturday, July 16 from 9 am to noon, on the lower level of the Central Library, 40 E. Anapamu St.

Library Plaza is a key public space in the City’s “Cultural District,” where many of Santa Barbara’s cultural landmarks are found, such as the Arlington and Granada Theatres, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Faulkner Gallery and numerous other art galleries. In the midst of all this is the Santa Barbara Central Library with its entry plaza. The Central Library has been located there since November 1917. In 1926, the adjoining property was bequeathed and the Faulkner Gallery was soon built, opening in 1930. Thus was created Library Plaza, the main entrance to the public library and gallery, and a favorite open space for residents and visitors alike. Just as its shade trees have matured, the plaza’s importance as open space has increased over the years while the city grew up around it. But Library Plaza has the potential to be much more.

The City of Santa Barbara Redevelopment Agency is funding the design of renovations for the Central Library plaza and landscaped areas along the Anapamu Street and Anacapa Street frontages of the Library. The principal goals are to create a library entrance and public gathering place that is inviting and safe and that can also be used for library-related activities and other functions.

The design process consists of two phases: conceptual design, and preliminary design and engineering, and the firm of Campbell & Campbell has been retained for this process. The design process is expected to last about nine months. A future phase will comprise final design and construction.

At the July 16 workshop, members of the design firm will present an overview of the project area and provide background on the renovation. City and design team staff will be on hand to facilitate small group discussions with members of the public, and to gather ideas and comments related to the design. Plan to come early and participate through the entire workshop!

It is anticipated that a second workshop will be held in August, also at the Central Library, and the Historic Landmarks Commission will hold hearings on the proposed concept design in the David Gebhard Memorial Hearing Room, 630 Garden St., during August and September. Some area residents and local business owners may want to participate in more than one of the workshops and/or hearings.

For further information contact Peggy Burbank, Redevelopment Specialist, at (805) 564-5461 x4582 or


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