For a number of years, portions of the entry to the Great Arch of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse 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. In particular, the sandstone and sculpture work are eroding and the mortar joints are failing.
In the first phase of a detailed study, conducted by architectural conservation experts, they found that the unsightly blanched coating that was applied decades ago to the Arch (in what was presumably an attempt to preserve the stone) is contributing to the deterioration of the sandstone itself. In addition, they found deterioration of the sandstone architectural details and sculptures.
In Phase 2 of their study, they performed several tests to identify the ideal method to remove the surface coating while not further damaging the sandstone.
Phase 3 of the study resulted in a set of project specifications outlining the scope of work for a final phase (Phase 4).
Phase 4 is the actual restoration work that will include: the careful removal of the surface coating on the sandstone; repointing of failed mortar joints; repairing/restoring the deterioration on the face of the sandstone blocks, architraves and sculptures; and installation of a protective coping/drip edge on the top of the arch to prevent future damage.
The total cost of the project is $796,350.