Courthouse Legacy Foundation Announces Milestone

SANTA BARBARA, CA - April 9, 2018 – The Santa Barbara Courthouse Legacy Foundation (CLF), a 501c(3) nonprofit corporation whose sole purpose is to provide the historic preservation, conservation and restoration of the Santa Barbara Courthouse, today announced that they have raised $110,000 of a $329,000 fundraising goal to restore the Great Arch of the Santa Barbara Courthouse.

“For a number of years, the entry to the Great Arch, which spans the passageway between Anacapa Street and the Sunken Garden and connects the main Courthouse building to the Hall of Records, has been visibly deteriorating,” said Jan Ferrell, president of the CLF board of directors. “In particular, the sandstone and sculpture work are eroding and the mortar joints are failing.”

Much of the damage is due to a coating that was applied to the sandstone decades ago (in what was presumably an attempt to preserve it) but which is now accelerating the deterioration.

The $329,000 restoration project includes: removing the surface coating on the sandstone; repointing failed mortar joints; repairing the deteriorating sandstone blocks, architraves and sculptures; and installing of a protective drip edge on the top of the arch to prevent future damage. The final phase of work will begin once the remaining $219,000 has been raised.

Thanks to generous gifts from the Outhwaite Foundation, the Pearl Chase Society, the Santa Barbara Foundation, the County of Santa Barbara, the Docent Council, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as well as several community donors, the project is already underway. CLF is now seeking the help of the entire community to achieve its remaining fundraising goal to complete the restoration of the Great Arch.

“If the Great Arch is not repaired the stonework will continue to deteriorate, which could significantly increase the cost of future repairs,” Ferrell added. “It is important that we address this issue now, before a major architectural component of our important historic landmark building is compromised.”  

The County of Santa Barbara is responsible for the general maintenance of the Courthouse but does not have the artistic resources or funds to authentically restore this magnificent historic structure. Gifts to the Courthouse Legacy Foundation are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

The Santa Barbara County Courthouse is a fully-functioning civic building, community center, and major tourist attraction.  Approximately 270 employees work in the building supporting operations for the Superior Court, the County Clerk and Hall of Records, and the Law Library.

Congressman Salud Carbajal recently commented on the Courthouse, "For years I had the privilege to work from the Santa Barbara County offices from a desk overlooking our stunning Courthouse. This building is truly a local treasure and I am honored to support the conservation and preservation efforts of this landmark through the Courthouse Legacy Foundation.”

The CLF plans to hold a fundraising event; An evening under the Great Arch, on May 26, 2018.

Did You Know...

There are 19 distinct door handles in the Courthouse.