Sunday, August 19 , 2018, 3:17 am | Overcast with Haze 68º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Santa Barbara Museum of Art Plans Rooftop Garden, 4th Floor with $50 Million Expansion

The Santa Barbara Planning Commission will consider the 8,000-square-foot development plan at Thursday's meeting

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art wants to build a rooftop garden with a terrace and pavilion, creating a fourth floor as part of a $50 million, 8,000-square-foot expansion of its downtown building.

Museum officials are scheduled to go before the Santa Barbara Planning Commission on Thursday seeking approval for its development plan. The museum last week erected story poles to show the scope of the expansion, which would reach as high as 59 feet. 

The cost of the project is expected to reach $50 million, including $8 million to establish an endowment for future upkeep of the facilities. The museum, which currently includes galleries, a museum store, a cafe, an auditorium, a library and a children's area, is one of Santa Barbara's most prominent destinations for locals and tourists. 

"Some of our gallery space occupies a structure that is more than 100 years old," museum director Larry Feinberg said in an email to Noozhawk. "So, due to the age of the building and normal wear, the museum faces some critical needs."

Feinberg pointed out that the project calls for seismic reinforcements of the masonry walls, system upgrades and new air conditioning to preserve and protect art work.

In addition, the project includes a new art receiving facility on Anapamu Street with a freight elevator and a hydraulic lift. Currently, art is delivered from a truck onto a forklift.

The museum plans to remove two coast live oak trees to make room of the new portions of the building. One of those trees will be replaced on site, while the museum will plant two oak trees off site at the Santa Barbara Bowl.

The museum moved into the building at 1130 State St. in 1940, before which it was home to the U.S. Post Office. Since 1942, the museum underwent six major expansions. The property is currently owned by Santa Barbara County.

Two basement levels currently used for storage, electrical and phone equipment would be reconfigured for administrative office and conference room use with the expansion plans. The museum's gift show and cafe would be be reconfigured on the lower level. The main level would be redesigned to include a new children's gallery. 

Plans for the museum's expansion include a fourth floor and rooftop terrace. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

"This renovation not only addresses immediate needs of the facility, it also allows us to enhance the efficiency and security of art delivery, movement, and storage," Feinberg said. 

Plans include new gallery space on the upper levels and an 800-square-foot pavilion on the roof, which would boost the building height to 59 feet from the area of 47 to 49 feet. 

The new pavilion is designed so that nonprofits could hold events on the roof, which would be serviced by an elevator. 

Increasing gallery space will allow the museum to display more of its works because "only a fraction" can be on display at any one time, according to the museum. 

Museum officials said the collection spans "more than 5,000 years of human creativity and includes classical antiquities rivaled in the West only by the J. Paul Getty Museum."

"The proposed project will improve the museum's ability to continue to serve the community and contribute positively to people's life experiences," said Trish Allen of Suzanne Elledge Planning & Permitting Services Inc., the company representing the museum through the planning process. 

Feinberg said the improvements will help the museum "provide cultural inspiration for generations to come."

The museum holds more than 28,000 objects in its collection. About 33 percent of the visitors are from Santa Barbara County; 10 percent from Ventura County; 17 percent from Los Angeles; 15 percent from Northern California; 5 percent from San Diego and 20 percent from out of state, according to data provided by the museum. 

The Santa Barbara Planning Commission is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 735 Anacapa St. 

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >