The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation has launched a fundraising campaign of $10,000 to upgrade a historic area in downtown Santa Barbara.
The funds raised from the online campaign will go directly to improvements to the intersection adjacent to the Moullet House at 834 Santa Barbara St.
The project is slated to improve the streetscape, reduce the amount of asphalt and expand the patio to restore the appearance of a front entry to the Victorian home. Plans also call for adding above-ground planters as car barriers to expand outdoor dining, and restore the vintage planter and light fixture at the corner of the site.
“This is a project of a scale that we think the community can help us fix it,” said Anne Petersen, executive director of the SBTHP. “This is a short-term project. With the community’s support, we can finish in a year.”
The campaign had raised more than $2,280 toward thev$10,000 goal as of Friday.
“The way we identified this project is thinking about the aesthetics of the different intersections in the historic core of downtown,” Petersen said. “We are trying to participate in this bigger conversation about how to revitalize downtown for residents, but also visitors.”
After the upgrades, Petersen said, the site will be a more welcoming and attractive vision of Santa Barbara’s historic downtown core.
Located in the El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park, the brick building was built by J.F. Moullet as a residence for his family in 1896.
“It was built before the 1925 earthquake, and a lot of the red brick buildings went down in the earthquake,” Petersen said. “This one survived. It’s amazing we have it.”
It had served as a political headquarters, a liquor store and a printing company. The Panino restaurant has occupied the building since 2012, according to the SBTHP.
“It’s such a classic old building, and I think the proposed improvements add a lot to its character while being low impact to the building’s history and structure,” Panino owner Carter Benson said. “We’re excited.”
The most recent maintenance work involved replacing the sewer lateral in 2018.
The latest preservation activities took place when the SBTHP secured Panino as a tenant eight years ago. At that time, the SBTHP conducted archaeology in the back kitchen as part of its tenant improvements. The work exposed stone foundations of Presidio soldiers’ residences under the floor of the kitchen.
In 2018, the city designated the building a structure of merit.
The SBTHP, a nonprofit organization, is working to protect, preserve, restore, reconstruct and interpret historic sites in Santa Barbara County. The organization operates El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park, 123 E. Canon Perdido St., under an agreement with California State Parks.
El Presidio de Santa Bárbara — a fort for the Spanish military — was founded in April 1782. Its center was at the intersection of Santa Barbara and East Canon Perdido streets in Santa Barbara.
“We do a lot of maintenance projects in the park and a lot of care of the historic buildings,” Petersen said.
“The visual impact this is going to have on what the Presidio neighborhood looks like is going to be something the community can be proud of if they support us,” Petersen said. “No gift is too small.”