Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
When the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden developed a Vital Mission Plan to guide future improvements and expanded services within the approximately 78- acre site, Santa Barbara County commissioned Historic Resources Group to provide a historic resource analysis for the purposes of CEQA. Founded in 1926, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is significant as the first research and display garden devoted to California native plants, and as a representative work of several important landscape architects. Although it was known to have important historical associations, the garden had never been formally analyzed as a cultural landscape.
HRG’s analysis identified a distinct period of significance for the garden and focused attention on the spatial organization, circulation patterns, display areas, public spaces, and landscape characteristics that contribute to the garden’s historic character, in addition to garden buildings, structures, and objects. HRG’s report also identified project modifications which could alleviate or address any potential impacts. The result was a comprehensive view of the garden as a historic resource which allowed a more nuanced examination of potential impacts from the proposed plan.