The Capital: April 2018 Issue

Hidden in the Hedgerows: the Pearl Chase Society’s 17th Historic Homes Tour showcases the diversity of homes designed over three decades in Montecito’s historic Hedgerow District, recently challenged by the forces of nature. The earliest years of the 20th century were a time both of real estate development and consolidation in the area.

The Capital: March 2018 Issue

Plans are in full swing for the Pearl Chase Society’s Historic Homes Tour, scheduled for May 20, 2018. The tour will take place in Montecito’s Historic Hedgerow District, and will feature five homes on San Leandro Park Road, San Leandro Lane, and Arroqui.

The Capital: February 2018 Issue

In the works: the Pearl Chase Society voted in January to begin sending out this publication in a digital format, saving time and funds in postage. Please send your updated information to

The Capital: January 2018 Issue

On November 16 we celebrate the birthday of Pearl Chase, which ought to be a day of recognition in this city that owes her so much. So much of the natural and architectural beauty we see around our community is directly attributable to her influence and vision. In her day she wielded great power, but never held political office.

The Capital: December 2017 Issue

A proposed apartment building threatens the neighborhood fabric of Santa Barbara’s historic district: El Pueblo Viejo (EPV). The plan at 800 Santa Barbara Street (referred to here as “the project”) includes the destruction of what most of us know as a park-like setting at the corner of Santa Barbara and De la Guerra streets.

The Capital: November 2017 Issue

At October’s Pearl Chase Society Board meeting, plans moved forward on hosting next year’s Historic Homes Tour in the Hedgerow neighborhood of Montecito. Board member Marcella Simmons gave an update on evolving plans, which include visiting five homes, one of which is a George Washington Smith. A tour date has yet to be announced.

The Capital: October 2017 Issue

At this month’s Pearl Chase Society Board Meeting, President Steve Dowty began the meeting by introducing and welcoming the newest directors, Anita Arellanas Leski and Christine Neuhauser. Dowty also announced that the Society is joining the SB Conservancy in appealing the SB City Council’s approval of the AUD project at 800 Santa Barbara Street.

The Capital: September 2017 Issue

The PCS Board has voted unanimously to partner with the Santa Barbara Conservancy to oppose AUDs, deciding that opposing each project one by one is a better option than opposing the program in its entirety. The Board plans on keeping on top of the proposed projects, and opposing ones that affect the ambiance and historic character of the neighborhoods in which they are proposed.

The Capital: August 2017 Issue

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.

The Capital: July 2017 Issue

In Society news, the PCS petition to halt new AUD projects continues, with nearly 600 signatures as of press time. To sign the petition, Click Here. The Board of the Pearl Chase Society, whose mission it is to preserve Santa Barbara’s historic structures and sites, respectfully requests that acceptance of new AUD projects by the Planning Department be halted pending evaluation of the Program.

The Capital: June 2017 Issue

The Pearl Chase Society is concerned about the City’s AUD program; projects such as 835 Canon Perdido Street and 711 Milpas Street seem to get approval with little consideration of their impact to neighborhoods and historical resources. Stricter guidelines for HLC and ABR commissioners and requirements for applicants have been written, but guidelines are only guidelines. The Housing Task Force is yet to propose any new ordinances or a moratorium on new project applications.

The Capital: May 2017 Issue

At April’s Pearl Chase Society board meeting, it was decided that the Maritime Museum will once again be the venue for the Society’s annual meeting.  A guest speaker at the meeting was Mary Rose, an agent from the East Valley Preservation Association who is advocating for the protection of 2500 East Valley Road.

The Capital: April 2017 Issue

More than a year ago readers of The Capital (Dec ‘15/Jan ’16 combined issue) were reintroduced to Cristina Fenzi, wife of Francesco Franceschi (née Emanuele Orazio Fenzi). At the time she seemed an amazingly strong woman who had six children survive 10 pregnancies. She seemed to have raised them for almost a decade as a single parent in Italy as her husband pursued his botanical interests in the New World.

The Capital: March 2017 Issue

Two of the historic Italian Stone Pine trees on Anapamu Street, which the PCS has so valiantly tried to save, succumbed to the torrential rains and fell down on Friday, February 17. At February’s Pearl Chase Society Board meeting, conversation was had regarding the Franceschi House, as Sue Adams and Steve Dowty met with City Parks & Recreation reps in January to discuss the condition of the house.

The Capital: February 2017 Issue

The Society board is currently looking into several projects, including a “Pearl Chase Garden” that is on the UCSB campus between the Chancellor’s residence and the bio building, according to the groundskeeper at UCSB. Board members are also discussing how to better get young people involved in the Society’s mission.

The Capital December 2016 Issue

On Saturday, November 12, more than 60 people came out to Arnoldi’s to celebrate our longtime supporter, board member, and friend Kellam de Forest as he marked his 90th birthday. Kellam is a founding member of the Pearl Chase Society and has been a key preservationist since its origins in 1998.

The Capital November 2016 Issue

In this issue of The Capital, the Pearl Chase Society welcomed Cole Cervantes, and third generation Santa Barbara resident to the Board of Directors.  Also, the Board agreed to send a letter encouraging a moratorium on the City’s Average Unit Density program.

The Capital October 2016 Issue

In this issue of The Capital, see the restored foundation at the Museum of Natural History, sponsored by the Pearl Chase Society while Preservation Watch informs 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.

The Capital August/ September 2016 Issue

In this issue of The Capital, get a recap of the Pearl Chase Society Annual Meeting, where new Board members were selected. Also, Kellam de Forest outlines a number of important community projects in Preservation Watch.

The Capital July 2016 Issue

Please join us for the Annual Meeting, July 7, 2016 at 5:30 pm at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way.  Come and enjoy a lecture from Maritime Museum Executive Director Greg Gorga, the annual meeting and refreshments from Arnoldi’s!

The Capital May 2016 Issue

April was a busy month for the Pearl Chase Society, starting with the monthly board meeting held at the Santa Barbara Mission. The board was invited on a tour of the historic landmark by Tina Foss, the museum’s director and cultural resources manager. Also read about Mediterranean style in the Historic Homes Tour…

The Capital April 2016 Issue

At this month’s Pearl Chase Society Board meeting, board members received a presentation from representatives from the Santa Barbara Conservancy, who are working on the second edition of the book, Santa Barbara El Pueblo Viejo. Also in the newsletter, is a preview of the Craftsman Homes on the 2016 Historic Homes Tour…

The Capital March 2016 Issue

At this month’s Pearl Chase Society Board meeting, there was much discussion about Casa Dorinda’s expansion plans, and the impact the expansion will have on the historic south bridge on the property, which is slated for demolition…

The Capital February 2016 Issue

The Pearl Chase Society Board is busy making plans for the 2016 Historic Homes Tour, which is scheduled for Sunday, May 15, from 11 am to 4 pm…

The Capital December 2015 Issue

Happy Holidays from the Pearl Chase Society Board of Directors! This is a great time to reflect on the accomplishments of the board over the past year, and look at goals for 2016.

Join the Pearl Chase Society

The Pearl Chase Society’s an all volunteer, not-for-profit conservancy dedicated to preserving Santa Barbara’s historic architecture, landscapes and cultural heritage.