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SBTHP presents the 50th Annual Meeting

and Community Awards Presentation


January 18, 2013

The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) celebrates fifty years as a nonprofit organization at its Annual Meeting and Community Awards Presentation on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. in the Presidio Chapel at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park (123 East Canon Perdido Street). The meeting will feature a review of the 2012 Annual Report and the election of new Trustees. Community award honorees include Old Mission Santa Inés, the Historic Resources Element Task Force (City of Santa Barbara), and volunteer Katherine Lowe. SBTHP will also debut its Memories Project, a new exhibit featuring photographs, stories, and drawings from the Presidio neighborhood.


Throughout 2013, SBTHP will be celebrating fifty years of work in the Santa Barbara community. The Annual Meeting and Community Awards Presentation is the kick-off event launching a year full of


special events in observance of SBTHP’s 50th anniversary.  Founded in 1963 by Dr. Pearl Chase and other community leaders, SBTHP works to preserve, restore, reconstruct and interpret historic sites in Santa Barbara County. The vision of the organization’s founders was to restore Santa Barbara’s Spanish Presidio, reclaim Santa Barbara’s birthplace and preserve Santa Barbara County history for future generations. With the help of continuing education activities and exhibits, SBTHP strives to encourage community involvement and foster an appreciation for Santa Barbara’s distinct history.


The Santa Barbara community is invited to be a part of the 50th anniversary celebration. SBTHP’s Memories Project requests photographs, stories, and drawings from the community to help interpret and document the stories held within the Presidio neighborhood.  All of the material SBTHP gathers will be archived at the Presidio Research Center and shared with the public on SBTHP’s new Collections Online website. Debuting at the Annual Meeting, the Memories Project will be on display at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara SHP throughout 2013. 


This year, SBTHP will present the prestigious Pearl Chase Historic Preservation and Conservation Award to Old Mission Santa Inés for its dedication to preserving an important part of California history. Over a number of years, grants from the California Missions Foundation (CMF) and others have allowed the Mission to conserve Mission Era paintings and artifacts, as well as a recent geophysical survey of the Mission grounds. After receiving several grants for their archive, archival storage material, processing equipment, and storage cabinets was purchased. In addition, the Mission matched the project by purchasing new computers, software, and a museum software training course. Prior work resulted in a volunteer staff, headed up by archivist, Sheila Benedict, that continues to process archival material and enter everything into a database. A number of years ago, in order to apply for a Getty Foundation grant to conserve vestments, the Mission, by an all-volunteer staff, conducted a conditions survey, proving detailed descriptions of each piece, and recommendations for treatment , storage, and display. Some of the vestments were eventually conserved, supported by that grant from the Getty. The CMF also awarded a grant to do further studies on the vestments, examination and repairs of the Madonna Chapel, and water damage in museum walls and floors. Museum rooms were restored and the displays updated, including a new interpretive timeline which serves as a focal point for the new display. It is the dedication of all the Capuchin Franciscan priests that have been at the Mission since 1924, the current Pastor, Fr. Gerald Barron, OFM Cap., the Archivist, museum curators then and now, dedicated members of the Preservation, Maintenance, and Restoration Committee, and devoted Grounds Crews that have kept the Mission so beautifully managed. It truly lives up to its name “The Hidden Gem.”


The 2013 George and Vivian Obern Preservation Stewardship Award is being presented to the Historic Resources Element Task Force, City of Santa Barbara.  During the Plan Santa Barbara general plan update process, which began several years ago, a rough outline of goals for a future historic resource element were included in initial drafts circulated for public review.  When questioned about this, interested parties were told that a full historic resource element was not included in the scope of work for the general plan update, which was designed to focus on housing and land use, among other elements. Several interested organizations and individuals lobbied the City to pursue development of a Historic Resource Element to be included in the Plan Santa Barbara process. City Council approved the creation of a Task Force, with staff support. Throughout 2012, the Task Force drafted the Historic Resource Element, which includes goals and guidelines related to preservation and increased public awareness of historical and archaeological resources in the City of Santa Barbara. The Element was approved at a City Council meeting at the end of 2012.  In addition to the voting members, several volunteer members participated in the process. As a result of the Committee’s hundreds of combined hours of work, the City now has its first ever Historic Resources Element.


SBTHP is also presenting the Sue Higman Volunteer of the Year Award to Katherine Lowe.  Named in honor of longtime SBTHP supporter and community activist Sue Higman, the award will be given annually to an individual or individuals who have made outstanding contributions of their time to SBTHP over the course of a year. Katherine dedicated nearly 100 hours to processing the Delfina de la Guerra manuscript collection.  Katherine co-presented about the collection at an SBTHP event and co-wrote an article about the collection for La Campana, SBTHP’s quarterly magazine.  She created archival quality scans of every item in the collection and worked with a photographer to capture three dimensional objects in the collection.  Lowe’s work on the Delfina de la Guerra collection was also the first collection added to SBTHP’s new Collections Online website, launched in October 2012. Her work will inform every digital collection SBTHP makes in the future.



2013 Awardees


Pearl Chase Historic Preservation and Conservation Award

Old Mission Santa Ines: Father Gerald and Sheila Benedict


George and Vivian Obern Preservation Stewardship Award

Historic Resources Element Task Force, City of Santa Barbara

Judy Orias, Fermina Murray, Stella Larson, Wanda Livernois, Mary Louise Days, Kellam de Forest, Anne Petersen, Suzette Naylor, Sheila Lodge, Joe Rution, Barbara Fosbrink, Jeanne Kahre



Sue Higman Volunteer Award

Katherine Lowe


    Jim and Sue Higman Internship

Stephanie Byrd

Emma Engstrom


Life Honorary Member

Jim Higman


Certificates of Appreciation

Moises Solis

Dan Petersen

Ahmanson Foundation

Henry W. Bull Foundation

Outhwaite Charitable Trust

John and Beverley Stauffer Foundation

Asian American History Committee: Juliet Betita, Terease Chin, Deborah Cristobal, Ambi Harsha,

Peggy Hergenroether, Keith Mar, Dr. Paul Mori, Kay Van Horn, and Helen Wong


Sponsored in part by Montecito Bank & Trust and the Hutton-Parker Foundation, the afternoon will conclude with a reception in the Presidio orchard.





SBTHP 50th Annual Meeting & Community Awards Presentation

Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 2:00 p.m.

Presidio Chapel at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara SHP

123 East Canon Perdido Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Please RSVP: (805) 965-0093 or

For more information visit or call (805) 965-0093


ABOUT the Pearl Chase Historic Preservation and Conservation Award—Each year the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) seeks to present the Pearl Chase Historic Preservation and Conservation Award to a deserving community member or organization dedicated to the values that Dr. Chase stood for in the fields of historic preservation and conservation. This annual lifetime achievement award serves as a tribute to the life and work of Pearl Chase, the famous leader of community activism and preservation in Santa Barbara, and to the work that continues today as a result of the inspiration she provided.


ABOUT the George and Vivian Obern Preservation Stewardship Award—The George and Vivian Obern Preservation Stewardship Award recognizes individuals or organizations that demonstrate outstanding preservation work in connection with a specific project in and around Santa Barbara County. This prestigious award was named in honor of George and Vivian Obern in 2006 for their lifelong preservation work, including their successful efforts to save the Thomas Hope House (built 1875, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978), condemned by the county of Santa Barbara but saved by the Oberns.


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