It was a great turnout at this year’s Annual Meeting of the Pearl Chase Society, which took place on July 6 at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. Dozens of PCS members came out to enjoy appetizers and wine from Arnoldi’s, and to hear a recap of the Society’s latest accomplishments, as well as an entertaining presentation from historian Betsy Green.
President Steve Dowty began the meeting by formally voting in board members Marcella Simmons, Chris Hoehner, and Cole Cervantes. Simmons is a local real estate agent with Village Properties, and Hoehner spends her time volunteering for the Santa Barbara County Courthouse and Casa Dorinda. Cervantes is a local CPA, and is the PCS’s new treasurer. Another new board member, Anita Arellanes Eski, was both nominated and voted in at the Annual Meeting.
Kellam de Forest gave a presentation of the Preservation Committee, focusing his attention on the AUD (Average Unit Density) program, which has caused the potential development of dozens of projects, which threaten to develop Santa Barbara’s aesthetic. “These large, tall buildings have the potential to destroy the beauty of Santa Barbara that Pearl Chase fought so hard to maintain,” he said. He passed out a handout to the audience with photos and information, and discussed permit applications for 835 East Canon Perdido (50 units), 711 North Milpas (four-story building), 800 Santa Barbara Street at De la Guerra, and 401-409 East Haley Street. See more in Preservation Watch.
PCS board member Mo Masson and PCS advocate Rick Closson both spoke up from the audience, urging members of the society to be the voice of the organization and to make their presence known at architectural review meetings and other important meetings. In addition to the meetings listed in the newsletter, the Society is working on updating its email database. It’s important to subscribe to the Society’s email alerts using the below form.
Dowty touched on the most significant accomplishments of the Society in the past year. Movement forward on the Franceschi House is high on the list, with the PCS partnering with the City Parks & Recreation Department to study solutions including demolition, restoration, and deconstruction of parts of the house into a “pavilion,” creating an educational display for the community to enjoy. Other highs: the hosting of Kellam’s 90th birthday party, which helped raise funds for the conservation of the Lockwood de Forest archives; the continued crusade against the AUD program; the removal of the temporary Cabrillo Blvd Bridge; and the continued saving of the Italian Stone Pines on Anapamu Street through irricades donated by the PCS.
by Kellam de Forest
(Editor’s note: Initiated by popular request, Preservation Watch informs Pearl Chase Society members of community projects that may disturb historical structures and features, explains community preservation efforts, and/or lists opportunities for public input for those concerned with a particular issue.)