Next Phase of the Great Arch Conservation Project

Great Arch Conservation Project -Garden Side

We are thrilled to announce the start of the next phase of the Great Arch Conservation Project!

Because of the generous gifts of many, we will be able to clean and restore the Garden side of the Great Arch to its former glory. This meticulous work will involve surface treating the stone with dry ice and localized micro air abrasion to remove black stains and biological debris that have accumulated over many years. In addition, the project will include washing the interior walls of the Great Arch with soap & water and treating and painting the wrought iron grilles and ornamentation on the windows of the Great Arch.

This important work will start on Monday, April 3rd, and is expected to be completed by June 2023.

Pacific Masonry Restoration, a specialty masonry contractor that is part of ARG Conservation Services, will perform the work. Only trained conservators experienced with historic structures will perform the work consistent with the Department of the Interior Standards for a National Historic Landmark such as our magnificent Courthouse.

Great Arch Conversation Project

Over the years, biological growth and pollution have stained the sandstone on the Garden side of the Great Arch black. These stains are not only unsightly but cause additional interior deterioration of the stone, which leads to spalling on the historic sandstone and must be cleaned before further damage is done. 

Thank you to our supporters and donors who have made this work possible. Without your generous support, we could not continue to give the Courthouse the attention and care it deserves. Thank you for joining us in our efforts to preserve Santa Barbara’s most-cherished architectural landmark. 

Our work is not done. 

Once this phase of the Great Arch Project is complete, the CLF will focus on raising funds to begin another phase of the conservation effort, which will address damage to the sandstone blocks, failed mortar joints, and loss of ornamental stone features on the Great Arch.

Please help us reach our fundraising goals! Donate Today.

If the stonework is not repaired, it will continue to deteriorate, leading to an ongoing rise in the cost of future repairs. We need to address these issues now, before the Great Arch, a major architectural component of our beloved historic landmark, is compromised.

Stone exfoliation is more severe where failed mortar joints allow excessive moisture intrusion, such as at projecting brackets immediately below joints in the architrave cornice.  Numerous cracked and open mortar joints exist, particularly at the top of the Great Arch. Deteriorated mortar at the statues of Justitia and Ceres threaten the stability of these figures. Failed mortar joints allow water to penetrate the stone of the Great Arch, leading to erosion and loss of stone surfaces

Did You Know...

The sandstone plinth is actually cement plaster textured to resemble sandstone.