Band Shell at Plaza del Mar Restoration Project
Established as a City park in 1899, Plaza del Mar was a favorite location for strolling and outdoor gatherings. The Plaza del Mar Band Shell, a designated City of Santa Barbara landmark, was constructed in 1919 to provide a venue for public concerts. Five thousand people attended the opening concert on May 4, 1919, which featured a 22-piece municipal band.
A popular venue for many decades, the Band Shell hosted concerts, dramatic performances, recitals, and speeches. Designed in the Mission Revival style by Winsor Soule, it is the only remnant of the iconic entertainment structures that once graced historic Plaza del Mar.
Although Plaza del Mar continues to host occasional community events, over time the use of the Band Shell declined and the building fell into disrepair. In recent years, community interest in the Band Shell for concerts, dances, rallies, and other events has grown, and the Coronavirus Pandemic further demonstrated that public parks, such as Plaza del Mar, are vital to community health.