SBTHP was selected to receive this prestigious award for its outstanding efforts to preserve, protect, reconstruct, and interpret historic sites in Santa Barbara County. The award was presented to SBTHP’S Executive Director Dr. Jarrell C. Jackman, Board President Dr. Robert L. Hoover, and Archaeologist Michael Imwalle on Friday, October 21 at the 2011 National Preservation Awards, held at the National Preservation Conference in Buffalo, New York.
The Trustees Emeritus Award for Excellence in the Stewardship of Historic Sites recognizes sustained excellence by a nonprofit organization or government agency in the preservation, management, and interpretation of one or more historic sites. The award acknowledges achievement over a period of at least 25 years in the following areas: promoting preservation through unique and effective programming, preservation and maintenance of historic structures and landscapes, interpretation and education programming for the public, and excellence in general or fiscal management. “Thanks to the ambitious work of the Santa Barbara Historic Trust for Historic Preservation, the varied past of this beautiful seaside town is alive and well,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Annually, the National Preservation Awards are presented to distinguished individuals, nonprofit organizations, public agencies and corporations whose skill and determination have given new meaning to their communities through preservation of our architectural and cultural heritage. “While each is unique, this year’s outstanding award winners all reflect the importance of protecting what is special and irreplaceable.” Learn more at www.PreservationNation.org/awards.
Founded in 1963 by Dr. Pearl Chase and other community leaders, SBTHP’s primary focus has been archaeological excavation, reconstruction, and community-wide interpretation of El Presidio de Santa Bárbara – the fort marking Santa Barbara’s 18th century birthplace. Following exhaustive archaeological and documentary research, SBTHP successfully reconstructed the northern quadrant of the Presidio and today operates El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park. About the size of a city block in the center of Santa Barbara’s vibrant downtown district, the Presidio’s singular location gives SBTHP an important opportunity to interpret the city’s history and heritage for students, the local community, and visitors from around the country and all over the world.
SBTHP operates the Presidio Research Center, which houses books, journals, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and blueprints that support SBTHP’s preservation and reconstruction work. The collection includes objects that span the years from the Spanish colonial period to the present, recording and reflecting the many facets of Santa Barbara’s history with a particular emphasis on the Presidio neighborhood.
SBTHP also owns and operates Casa de la Guerra, the 1820s home of the 5th Presidio Comandante José de la Guerra and his family. SBTHP has conducted exhaustive research to determine the structural history of the Casa, with particular emphasis on its original configuration. Today, SBTHP operates the restored adobe home as a museum featuring original furnishings, a history of the de la Guerra family, and rotating exhibits. An iconic monument to Santa Barbara’s Hispanic heritage, the
Casa is the site for numerous civic celebrations and special events throughout the year.
SBTHP offers extensive educational and outreach programs including: Living History days, tours, lectures, concerts, art and historical exhibitions and traditional Hispanic cultural celebrations, summer day camps and a college-level archaeological field school. Every year thousands of students from throughout Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Ventura counties and beyond participate in free, guided, age-appropriate tours of the Presidio and Casa de la Guerra.
Recently purchased, Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens provides an opportunity to interpret the history of Santa Barbara’s Asian American community in the Presidio neighborhood. SBTHP also recently signed an agreement with State Parks to develop and manage the Santa Inés Mission Mills near the town of Solvang as a future California State Park. Learn more about SBTHP at www.SBTHP.org.