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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 7:50 am | Fair 45º


Party for the Ages Marks Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation’s 50th Anniversary

El Paseo celebration opens hidden doors and windows to Santa Barbara's magical past

[Click here for a Noozhawk photo gallery from the event.]

There couldn’t be a more stunning or authentic venue than the El Paseo courtyard and the Restaurante del Paseo for the Un Paseo en Oro event that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. A uniformed soldier on horseback greeted guests at the De la Guerra Street entrance along with other distinguished soldiers of the Presidio Trust.

The celebration was in honor of the nonprofit Trust’s 50-year journey to preserve, restore and explore Santa Barbara’s cultural and architectural heritage. The Trust operates Casa de la Guerra, El Presidio State Historic Park, Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens and Santa Inés Mission Mills in Solvang.

It was a unique event. Guests were given the special opportunity to visit the hidden hollows of El Paseo: studios currently occupied by a few special resident tenants — including financial planner Jack Theimer and architect Michael De Rose — as well as the Ranchero Room, which is usually held private.

Along with the self-directed tours of the exclusive El Paseo studios, the assembled supporters enjoyed a casual outdoor social hour before entering the restaurant for dinner, entertainment and the program. The dinner menu included spinach salad, grilled rib-eye with shrimp scampi, saffron rice and vegetables, with vanilla flan for dessert.

Event co-chairman Keith Mautino was the gracious host of our table of 12, which included longtime Trust supporters Robin Schuette, Nancy and Bob Knight, Mareva and Herb Barthels, and Harry Brown. Terease Chin also served as event co-chairwoman with Milford “Wayne” Donaldson and Marilyn “Missy” Chandler DeYoung serving as honorary event co-chairs.

DeYoung is a fourth-generation Californian and a California history buff. She married Otis Chandler in 1951. After raising five children, she earned a master’s degree in urban planning from UCLA. She founded Urban Design Disciplines, an architecture-planning firm.

Board member Mary Louise Days and longtime executive director Jarrell Jackman also assisted on the event committee.

After opening remarks, the audience was treated to a world-class Flamenco performance by dancer Timo Nuñez. Board president “John Poucher then explained the Buy-A-Brick Campaign for the Northwest Corner Reconstruction project of the El Preside de Barbara State Historic Park. He also recognized the evening’s sponsors, which included the Towbes Foundation, Union Bank, Montecito Bank & Trust, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Marilyn Chandler DeYoung, the Samuel B. and Margaret C. Mosher Foundation, and Zaytoon.

Donaldson’s commemorative address described the importance of the Trust’s historic preservation work for the past 50 years. He is an architect of innovative design and has received awards in preservation architecture during his 26-year practice as a preservation architect and contractor.

Spanish Consul General Enrique Ruiz Molero then spoke to the assemblage.

“On this joyful occasion of the Trust’s 50th anniversary, I am delighted to send a strong message of support and affection to all those members and friends who have devoted themselves to keeping the Hispanic memory of our beloved Santa Barbara alive and truly well,” he said.

“Nearly 20 years ago I had the honor of visiting the Presidio and getting acquainted with your purpose and works. That day you appointed me as Honorary Comandante and I would like to thank you once again for this honor that you generously granted me and of which I feel deeply proud.”

Following the delicious dinner, immediate past board president Craig Makela joined the venerable Larry Crandell at the podium for the live auction. As always, “Mr. Santa Barbara” had the crowd laughing at his quick-witted one-liners. Crandell and Makela made quick business of gathering bids and sales of auction items, such as a Lake Tahoe week getaway, four nights at Mammoth Mountain, a week in a log cabin in Homer, Alaska (Crandell said the stay could be extended if the party got snowed in), dinner at the Coral Casino Beach & Cabana Club, and overnight at the Spanish Garden Inn with dinners at Zaytoon and La Playa Azul Café.

“We are proud of what we have achieved in the past 50 years, including the restoration of Casa de la Guerra and protection of El Paseo,” Jackman said in the commemorative program. “Built by Presidio Comandante José de la Guerra in the 1820s, the Casa was the economic, political and social center of the pueblo of Santa Barbara. Constructed in 1923 surrounding the Casa de la Guerra, El Paseo has become a world-famous architectural icon that has served as a model for developing the City of Santa Barbara.”

As the evening’s parting gesture, staff handed each guest a burlap gift bag that contained Mission Hills Olives and Olive Oil made from trees planted at the Santa Ines Mission Mills, which is under the Trust’s stewardship.

Click here for more information about the 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.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow her on Twitter: @NoozhawkSociety and connect with Noozhawk on Facebook and Pinterest.

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