4/15-5/3: Central Library Lower Level/Children’s Library area will be closed due to construction work.


Plaza del Mar Band Shell Renovation Project

Sidebar Widgets


Jill Zachary
Parks and Recreation Director
(805) 564-5430

Project Location


A designated City Landmark, the Plaza del Mar Band Shell was originally built in 1919 to provide a venue for public concerts. In May of that year, approximately five thousand people attended the opening concert featuring a 22-piece municipal band. While the Band Shell hosted countless concerts, dramatic performances, recitals, speeches, and community events over 100 years, the building eventually fell into disrepair and was deemed unsafe for public use in 2020.

The Plaza del Mar Band Shell Renovation Project aims to return a vibrant space for music, art, culture, and community events to one of Santa Barbara's oldest parks. The full-scale renovation will restore the structure’s historical charm while incorporating modern amenities to accommodate a diverse range of public events. Plans include structural repairs to the building frame, replacement of the roof and wood stage, restoration of the original stage lighting, installation of full electrical service, and construction of an accessible pathway and ramp leading to the stage. 

Funding for the project includes $800,000 in federal funding from the American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA), $275,000 in City funds (General Fund and Measure C), a $177,000 grant from the California Department of Parks and Recreation, and $55,500 in private funding, donated through the PARC Foundation.  Private funding includes $25,000 from the Santa Barbara Foundation, $10,000 from the Ann Jackson Family Foundation, $10,000 from the Tuohy Foundation, $10,000 from Santa Barbara Beautiful, and $500 from a private donor.


Project Timeline

October 2020

Repair needs assessment completed

September 2021

Final plan approval from the Historic Landmarks Commission

Summer 2023 - Winter 2024

Project construction

Spring 2024

Band Shell reopens

Future Programming

The renovation of the Plaza del Mar Band Shell will restore the historic venue's long-standing tradition of hosting concerts, performances, festivals, and other cultural gatherings. The Parks and Recreation Department and PARC Foundation aim to support access to a wide range of arts and cultural events at the Band Shell.  Arts and culture organizations interested in hosting events once the renovation is complete are encouraged to contact the Parks and Recreation Department.

Local businesses and organizations interested in supporting free programming are encouraged to inquire about sponsorship opportunities through the PARC Foundation.  Private donations to support free cultural events are also welcome. 

As in the past, Plaza del Mar and the Band Shell will also be available for private event rentals. Individuals interested in hosting a private event can contact Venues@SantaBarbaraCA.gov.