The project to restore the band shell at Plaza del Mar, one of Santa Barbara’s oldest parks, has secured grant funding to continue the planned restoration.
The structure, originally constructed in 1919, long served as a cultural hub of the city, providing a space for concerts, theater performances, recitals and community celebrations, but has since fallen into disrepair.
In October 2020, an evaluation of the band shell identified the stage flooring, building frame and roof as major structural issues. A fence was placed around the facility as a safety precaution.
The city of Santa Barbara sees the restoration of the historic band shell as a way to revitalize Plaza del Mar as a destination for music, theater, dance and celebrations.
To fund the project, the Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department secured a $177,952 grant from the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The department also partnered with the Parks and Recreation Community Foundation to secure an additional $55,500 from local foundations and private donors who felt passionately about returning the historic venue to the public.
The fundraising campaign received significant support from the Santa Barbara Foundation, the Ann Jackson Family Foundation, the Alice Tweed Tuohy Foundation and Santa Barbara Beautiful.
The remainder of the project’s funding includes $175,000 in city general funds and $400,000 in American Rescue Plan Act Funds allocated by city council.
The Plaza del Mar Band Shell Restoration project includes:
— Structural repairs to the building frame.
— Replacement of the roof and wood stage.
— Restoration of the original stage lighting.
— Installation of full electrical service.
— Construction of an ADA-accessible pathway and ramp to the stage.
The Historic Landmarks Commission approved the final design for the restoration in November 2021. The project is now ready to move into the construction phase, with onsite work anticipated to begin in early 2023.
The PARC Foundation continues to seek donations and local sponsors to fund free community concerts and performances at the band shell once the restoration is complete. To learn more, go to www.parcsb.org.