Santa Barbara Mission
(Santa Barbara, CA)
The Santa Barbara Mission was established on the Feast of Santa Barbara on December 4, 1786 as the tenth of the twenty-one California Missions to be founded by the Spanish Franciscans. A series of four missions have been built on the site, the third of which was destroyed during the great Santa Barbara Earthquake on December 21, 1812. Construction of the fourth and current mission took place from 1815 until 1820.
Known as the “Queen of the Missions” for its architectural beauty, the mission was probably constructed under the direction of master mason Jose Antonio Ramirez. Neoclassical style mission represents the greatest engineering achievement of the combined efforts of the Indian, Spanish and Mexican artisans in Santa Barbara. Many of the Mission’s original associated resources, including the tanning vats, jail, filter house, reservoir, and aqueduct system, still exist today.
Listed as a National Historic Landmark, the Santa Barbara Mission is the only mission to remain under the leadership of the Franciscan Friars since its founding. Today, the mission is a parish church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Owner: Franciscan Province of Santa Barbara
Original Architect: Father Antonio Ripoll
Historic Consultant: Griswold Conservation Associates, LLC
Structural Engineer: Nels Roselund
General Contractor: Chattel Architecture
Restoration Contractor: Spectra Company