mission santa barbara

Known as “Queen of the Missions,” Santa Barbara Mission was established in 1786 and is a National Historic Landmark. The National Park Service provided a Save America’s Treasures grant including a match for a total of $1.3 million for various preservation projects.

Chattel was engaged to prioritize projects and manage implementation. Chattel prepared a Historic Structures Report identifying repair of the convento pillars and walls as a high priority. The convento is the oldest portion of the Mission, with walls dating to as early as 1796. Walls are comprised of adobe, sandstone, brick and concrete and are deteriorating with extensive visible damage.

To determine the cause of the problem, Chattel engaged geology consultant Campbell Geo to perform hydrology studies, and materials conservator Griswold Conservation to investigate existing conditions and proposed treatments.

While hydrology is ongoing, the proposed treatment plan involves repair and replacement of deteriorated underlying building materials and resurfacing of the entire convento with a traditional lime-based plaster. The current Portland cement-based plaster render traps moisture and accelerates deterioration; a return to lime-based plaster will allow underlying building materials to breathe.

Study of the interior walls is a necessary next step before any of the proposed work is implemented. Chattel is currently managing these ongoing investigations and working with the Mission and California Missions Foundation to gather information and seek approvals to implement the proposed treatment plan from the City of Santa Barbara, State Historic Preservation Officer, and National Park Service.

PROJECT DETails

Services: Historic Structures Report

Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Size: 13.2 acres

Completed: In progress

Awards:

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