Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Year: 2019

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History – Santa Barbara Commons – Public Open Space


The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History has begun a process like a metamorphosis, as it emerges with a completed Centennial Esplanade (including new landscaping and pedestrian path), as well as a very accessible boardwalk entry through the front garden, known as the Hind Foundation Garden. The Museum’s public-facing entrance features several beautiful and engaging public spaces. “Chad,” a full-size blue whale skeleton is the star and anchor for the site. “Chad” received restoration work recently, and looks like new. The massive ‘floating’ bone sculpture/ skeleton serves to set the tone of the museum as an educational space. The numerous majestic native Coast Live Oaks and watershed-wise native landscape frame several beautiful public spaces, and along with the Spanish Colonial Revival Architecture, imbues a quintessential sense of Santa Barbara. All these physical aspects are enhanced by a renewed sense of welcoming from the Museum, with inclusive programs, many free events, summer camps, and regularly rotating exhibits to draw everyone through their doors and into this new and long-loved Santa Barbara Commons – and Public Open Space.


Property Owner
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Luke Swetland, President & CEO

Architect Project Manager
Cheryl Cohen, Schacht Aslani Architects

General Contractor Project Superintendent
Wayne Motyer, Frank Schipper Construction Company

Project Builder / General Contractor
Paul Wieckowski, Frank Schipper Construction Company

Land Use Planner
Suzanne Elledge, Heidi Jones, and Laurel Perez, Suzanne Elledge Planning & Permitting Services, Inc.

Master Gardener
Karen McConaghy, Steve Hanson Landscaping, Inc

Project Architect
Walter Schacht, FAIA, and Cima Malek-Aslani, AIA Schacht Aslani Architects

Project Builder / General Contractor
Fernando Orta, Frank Schipper Construction Company

Project Landscape Contractor
Steve Hanson, Steve Hanson Landscaping, Inc

Project Lanscape Architect
Susan Van Atta, FASLA, Van Atta Associates

Project Manager
Barbara Barker, Santa Barbara Mueum of Natural History

2559 Puesta Del Sol
Santa Barbara CA 93105 US
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