[Noozhawk’s note: This article is one in a series sponsored by the Hutton Parker Foundation.]
The nonprofit Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) is a kind of “Golden Boy” of Santa Barbara. After all, what other organization, nonprofit or otherwise, is entrusted to the care and preservation of 20 — yes, 20 — downtown historical properties?
On Saturday, May 18, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., the Trust for Historic Preservation will celebrate its golden anniversary of achievement in preservation, restoration and exploration with its fundraiser, Un Paseo en Oro, at the historic El Paseo. Historical vignettes will play in the El Paseo Courtyard while sneak peek tours will be given of the Borein Studio, St. Francis Room and Casa de la Guerra. A plated dinner, entertainment, live auction and special guest appearances will follow, including a flamenco dance by dancer Timo Nuñez and traditional Latin American and Mexican music by SONando.
The event honorees are Milford “Wayne” Donaldson and Marilyn “Missy” Chandler deYoung.
“I immediately thought of honoring Missy Chandler deYoung when I was asked to co-chair Un Paseo en Oro,” said Trust board member and event co-chairman Keith Mautino, a local fine art dealer/Asian antiques specialist. “She has done so much for Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, and knows virtually everyone.”
Donaldson, FAIA, appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, is a noted preservation architect and a prominent leader in the field of historic preservation. He assisted the Trust with the restoration of Casa de la Guerra and will be speaking at the May 18 event.
Formerly of Los Angeles, deYoung said she was thrilled to be chosen as an honoree.
“My newfound city, Santa Barbara, is the most historical city on the West Coast,” she said. “We have to preserve what we have, enhance it, and build upon it.”
Trust for Historic Preservation executive director Jarrell Jackman Ph.D. echoes deYoung’s sentiments.
“This is an important celebration,” he said. “Where else can we find a preservation outfit that’s had a significant impact on four blocks of downtown history? It’s pretty phenomenal.”
While discussing the event’s venue, Jackman added, “The reason why we chose El Paseo is because we think the public is unaware that the Trust is still there. The Trust owns Casa de la Guerra, which surrounds El Paseo, but we also hold an important historic easement over El Paseo. We protect the exterior of El Paseo as well as key interior spaces like the Ranchero Room, the ceiling of the Wine Cask and the ceiling of the St. Francis Room, which is the entranceway to the main restaurant.”
Constructed in 1923, El Paseo served as a prototype for developing the rest of Santa Barbara, especially after the notoriously destructive 1925 earthquake. Casa de la Guerra, built in the 1820s, was the economic, political and social center of the pueblo of Santa Barbara and was built by Presidio Comandante José de la Guerra.
Terease Chin, JD, vice president and senior trust officer at Montecito Bank & Trust and the SBTHP’s board treasurer is co-chairing the event along with Mautino. Her involvement with the Trust stems from her avid interest in promoting and understanding history.
“What connects me to this community is that Santa Barbara was very open to other cultures at a time when most were not,” she continued. “For instance, in the late 1800s, before the earthquake, there was a lot of talk about the Chinese Exclusion Act. The Asian children had to be in segregated schools. Santa Barbara said ‘no,’ they weren’t going to have segregated schools.”
Chin is also chairwoman of the SBTHP’s Asian American committee and is involved in planning the Trust’s summer Asian American Film Series.
The May 18 celebration recognizes Pearl Chase and other community leaders who founded the SBTHP and the many people who have provided good works for it over the last 50 years.
Tickets to the May 18 Un Paseo en Oro at El Paseo are $175 apiece and may be purchased by calling the Trust at 805.965.0093. Table sponsorships are also available. Click here for more information about Un Paseo en Oro, or visit the Trust’s administrative offices at 123 E. Canon Perdido, at the corner of East Canon Perdido and Santa Barbara streets.
The Trust’s mission is to preserve, restore, reconstruct and interpret historic sites in Santa Barbara County. The SBTHP operates a variety of important historic properties, including:
» El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park (operated in collaboration with California State Parks),123 E. Canon Perdido. It’s open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except on major holidays.
» The former Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens, 126 E. Canon Perdido across from the Presidio, which serves to interpret the history of Santa Barbara’s Asian community.
» Casa de la Guerra, the 1820s home of Presidio Comandante José de la Guerra and his family at 15 E. De la Guerra St. It’s open from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, except on major holidays.
» Santa Inés Mission Mills in Solvang in agreement with the State Parks to manage and develop it as a future state park
Admission the the Trust for Historic Preservation is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors over age 62 and free to members of the museum and children 16 and under (admission includes both El Presidio and Casa de la Guerra on Saturdays and Sundays).
» Click here for more information about the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, or call 805.965.0093.
» Connect with the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation on Facebook. Follow the Trust for Historic Preservation on Twitter: @SBTHP.