Alexandria Digital Research Library

'A delightful deception' : the politics of public memory and the re-creation of spanish Santa Barbara, 1920-1987

Smith, Ty Oliver
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. History
Degree Supervisor:
Mary Hancock
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
Issued Date:
Cultural Resources Management, History, United States, History, Modern, and Urban and Regional Planning
Dissertations, Academic and Online resources
Ph.D.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2014

In the first quarter of the twentieth century, a group of Santa Barbara citizens embarked on a program to transform their Anglo American city into a Spanish Pueblo. This effort was not an attempt by Santa Barbara's old Spanish families to restore the pueblo as it had been, but, rather, an effort by some Anglo citizens to create an ideal community where artistic ideals were fully integrated with daily life. They used aspects of a Spanish fantasy past to shape their future. A key strategy of their efforts was to foster architectural uniformity in Spanish forms and to "save" and rebuild the city's Spanish era adobes. To advance these goals, these elite citizens lobbied government to create policies and laws, such as sign ordinances, building codes, and city zoning ordinances. The acquisition of property and reconstruction projects, such as the El Presidio de Santa Barbara, caused the physical displacement of Mexican American, Native American, and Asian residents. The city and other institutions further displaced these people in the historical narratives they presented and "performed" through community events, such as the Old Spanish Days Fiesta. This dissertation examines documents from Santa Barbara's institutions, such as the Community Arts Association, the Old Spanish Days Fiesta Corporation, and the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, to track the emergence of the impulse to reshape the city and the various methods by which these groups attempted to advance their vision. On one level, this study is an urban and preservation history. But it is also a study that is mindful of the ongoing tensions in the city, which are a feature of its borderlands past.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (247 pages)
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
Catalog System Number:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Ty Smith
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