Santa Barbara Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County

Central Coast area, Central Coast region

Santa Barbara Public Library
40 East Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

opened 1917
Public Library 1917-present
currently a public library

grant amount: $50,000
architectural style: Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival
architect: F. Wilson, C. Winslow, M. Hunt


The Santa Barbara Public Library has long been considered a community treasure, noted for its collection, architecture, interior comfort, visual amenities, and cultural events. Located at the southwest corner of Anapamu and Anacapa streets, the Spanish Revival building has had a dramatic architectural history. The northeast wing of the present library is the Carnegie funded portion of the building, opened in 1917. Reconstruction followed major earthquake damage in 1925; the Faulkner art and music wing was added in 1930, and major remodeling, with additions and a new entrance, was completed in 1980.

Santa Barbara was one of those first California communities incorporated in 1850. Its early 1870 library continued under various sponsorships and in various locations until the city built a library in 1829. In 1907 it was renovated and enlarged. The $50,000 grant by Carnegie in 1914 was matched by the city. The original building was designed by local architect Francis Wilson, based on sketches by Henry Hornbostel of Pittsburgh. Carleton Winslow directed the 1925 reconstruction and designed the main portal, and the Faulkner Gallery was designed by Myron Hunt.