The American Institute of Architects Santa Barbara‘s 10th anniversary ArchitecTours event, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, will celebrate the fabric of Santa Barbara’s downtown, including historic properties, hidden gems and recent additions.

Commmunity members areinvited to participate in the walking tour, rediscovering downtown Santa Barbara and imagine living, working, dining, shopping and playing in the heart of the city.

There have been numerous conversations recently about the changing face of downtown Santa Barbara and how best to support its vitality, while making it more vibrant, livable and welcoming.

This year’s AIASB tour is designed to expand the discussions by exploring downtown housing, business and entertainment through its architecture.

Some sites on the tour will have interactive stations for discovering the concepts that came from last year’s AIASB Make State Street Work collaborative charrette.

Participants can contribute their thoughts, experiences, and discussions while exploring the downtown core.

A tour party will be 4-6 p.m.

Early Bird tickets, offering up to 20 percent discount are available until Tuesday, Sept. 17. Ticket prices are $70 for AIA members and seniors; $80 general; $25 for students. For more about the tour, visit or call 805-966-4198.

ArchitecTours is an annual celebration of local architecture and cultural identity. Projects on the tour showcase the design and depth of knowledge of AIA architects. The tour offers a behind-the-scenes look at exceptional properties.

ArchitecTours sponsors: Allen Construction, Young Construction, Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara, Ferguson, Hayward Lumber, Eyman Parker Insurance Brokers, AB Design Studio, Ensberg Jacobs Design Inc., Insulate SB.

Ashley & Vance Engineering, TOTO USA, Kitchell Custom Homes, Van Sande Structural Consultants, Side View Design, Power Electric, DMHA, Mission Audio, Coast Reprographics, Jose Martinez and Santa Barbara Community Arts Workshop.

ArchitecTours 2018 is also supported by the city of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Downtown Organization, Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce and Visit Santa Barbara.

Tour stops include:

» Alhecama Theatre, which was built after the devastaing 1925 earthquake that left downtown Santa Barbara in ruins. After the disaster, a large-scale construction effort altered the character of the city center.

Originally known as the Pueblo Theatre, the building was constructed in 1925 for the Santa Barbara School of the Arts. It
has been in continuous use ever since.

A recent remodeling project was completed in 2017 and includes a new roof, accessible ramp and pathway, completely restored interiors with original oak floors, and fully restored stage.

A professionally restored mural by California artist Ross Dickinson dominates the main wall of the audience space. Today, the theater is a step toward revitalizing the historic plaza and bringing art into the community.
Architecture: Harrison Design

» Anacapa Studios is a three-building mixed-use complex, envisioned as a creative compound for living and working.

Robin Donaldson AIA, partner of ShubinDonaldson (SD) Architects developed the live-work campus for his Santa Barbara design office, while enabling him to live on campus and integrate his personal life with his passion for architecture.

Anacapa Studios stitches into the historically commercial /manufacturing neighborhood by minimizing the mass of the project, breaking the 12,000-square-foot development into three buildings which are three stories tall with fourth-story roof decks.

The ultimate goal of Anacapa Studios is to be a demonstration project and catalyst for future Santa Barbara downtown living.

Architecture: ShubinDonaldson.;

» Arlington Village is the first new rental project to emerge downtown in decades helping to fulfill one of the city’s goals of new rental housing. Originally the old Arlington Hotel, the site is adjacent to the Arlington Theater.

The project design compliments the historic architecture of the theater, extending its surrounding Spanish-style village to
the west. The new apartment building is three stories with 33 rental units, averaging 865 square feet.

The project features an exercise room, parking garage, improved surface parking for theater patrons, and 984 square feet of commercial offices on the ground floor. Central components are common courtyards and a public paseo.

The 1,830-square-foot rooftop lounge has panoramic views of the Santa Barbara mountains.

Architecture: RRM Design Group

» Cota + Salsipuedes is a 19,293-square-foot three-story mixed-use building on the edge of the funk zone.

The project uses the Average Unit-Site Density Incentive Program with 29 apartment units of an average unit size of 595 square feet on a lot just under a half acre within the Priority Housing Overlay.

Many of the units have mountain or downtown views and range from the basic studio units to ampler two bedroom units. The
design contrasts the traditional Spanish Revival architecture drawing from the more contemporary aesthetic of the funk zone.

The building’s striking lines that wrap the facade, and its use of industrial materials and bold colors make it stand out.

Architect: Cearnal Collective

» El Zapato has several comfortable units arranged around a small 50-by-64-foot downtown lot. The building is tucked between two industrial buildings, a parking lot, and a narrow busy street.

The initial arrangement of the building was driven by the need for creating parking and a desire to preserve a beautiful pink flame tree. Jeff Shelton arranged the buildings around an elliptical porte-cochère arch in the middle of the building.

Architect: Jeff Shelton, Architect

» Granada penthouse. On the top two floors of the historic Granada Theatre Tower in the downtown theater district is a two-bedroom penthouse with two full and two half baths.

The resident’s office sits just off the private elevator lobby in the western corner of the tower. The master suite and an office are along the home’s central gallery, and the master suite faces the mountains.

Off the living room, stairs lead to the ninth floor of the tower in the mansard roof. The southern corner of the tower has a loft with a full bar connected to an exercise room. From the loft, stairs lead to the rooftop deck that offers 360-degree city views.

Architect: Cearnal Collective

» Impact Hub Santa Barbara is a co-working office space, offering patrons state-of-the art shared and independent working spaces with member benefits that serve to incubate local entrepreneurialism, philanthropy, and sustainable business modeling.

Intended to enhance networking and collaboration, independent workstations are located in common thoroughfares while conference rooms and event spaces offer some level of transparency, via fixed glass, to the surrounding spaces.

At the entry to the foyer is a bustling bar specializing in one-of-a-kind wine varietals and gourmet vegetarian fare. The space also has an outdoor area where members can meet, eat lunch, or work independently in all seasons.

Architect: ANACAPA

» Independence House is an adaptive re-use and conversion of a 1,776-square-foot commercial garage structure into a 2,030-square-foot, four-bedroom residence. Extensive exterior decks adjacent to the new living spaces provide expansive city views.

Architect:Arketype Architects Inc.

» Jardin de las Rosas provides 40 affordable one-, two- and three-bedroom rentals units. It also houses the Michael Towbes Community Center and Jeanette Duncan Learning Center, which provide educational programs for children, workforce preparedness for adults.

The architecture reflects classic Santa Barbara style complimented by drought-tolerant landscaping and an interior courtyard with a playground and a 35-foot mural created by local artists.

Jardin de las Rosas is one of the first projects approved through the priority housing overlay pilot program and a key implementation action of the city’s General Plan.

Architect: RRM Design Group

» Mini Craftsman Contemporary, built at the turn of the century, is a 762-square-foot cottage that has been designated as a Structure of Merit in the historic Brinkerhoff district.

The property had been neglected for years, but the architect and current owners embraced the historic quality of this one-bedroom home to its originations.

At the interior, architect Lori A. Kari created a great0room experience by removing walls, exposing the vaulted ceiling, and adding operable skylights.

While there is limited outdoor space, two outdoor living areas were created for use at different times of the day. A modest cottage, the project provides an aesthetic and functional architecture for life downtown.

Architect: Lori A. Kari

» The Service Department is being transformed into an open concept, multi-tenant property, anchored by a brewery taproom, two restaurants, a craft cocktail bar, and two micro-retail spaces.

Designed by Kevin Moore Architect and developed by Miramar Group, the Service Department’s layout allows for multiple defined yet contiguous spaces, each opening into the others to let patrons move easily throughout.

The Service Department features a transformed State Street frontage with a covered patio bar and common entrance, an emphasis on indoor/outdoor spaces, an outdoor beer garden in the rear and original architectural features.

Architect: Kevin Moore Architect/Miramar Group,

» West de la Guerra. This underutilized half-acre site, a half block from Paseo Nuevo, was a large parking lot with a small commercial building and a very old Norfolk Island pine.

The owners wanted to expand the commercial space and build new courtyard housing behind, while preserving as much parking as possible.

From the street it is comfortable but urban; providing 14 new homes downtown, from a mountain-view penthouse to three affordable units.

Architect: Cearnal Collective

— Tara Rizzi for American Institute of Architects Santa Barbara..