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de la Guerra
Santa Barbara is a city so rich in history that its easy to sometimes miss something very interesting.
A prime example is Casa de La Guerra. It's right in the middle of everything. It's just off State Street a half block from El Paseo Nuevo shopping mall. You'd think everybody would swing by to check out their wonderful exhibits.
Unfortunately, most people in town don't realize what a wonderful slice of history is right under our very noses.
When you first walk in there is a simple room that does double duty as a video hall and bookstore. If you take a left from there, however, you enter room upon room of fabulous vignettes. It was so easy to linger to admire the fascinating artifacts.
It is easy to walk away with an appreciation of what life in early Santa Barbara must have been like.
The Casa has been at the heart of Santa Barbara's history since its construction (1819-1827) by the fifth Presidio comandante, Josť de la Guerra. He was a wealthy and influential man who history tells us was a true leader and protector of the people. His family continues to be important in this county to this very day. As the town grew up around the Casa, it played a central role in celebrations, especially Fiesta. During the earthquake of 1925, the Casa served as a role model for the rebuilding of the devastated city.
The Casa is a City Landmark, a California Landmark, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Directions: From the 101, take the Garden Street exit and turn towards the mountains. Drive until you read De La Guerra street. Follow it until it deadends on State Street. Parking in this area is a bit tight. There is some limited parking across the street at the De La Guerra Plaza, but your best bet is to turn left on Anacapa and then right on Ortega. The parking garage on your left usually has spaces.