CHALLENGE: I was recently asked to give my opinion as to a project with front-of-house-aesthetics concerns that are similar to restoration work taking place in the Santa Barbara, CA, area. The city of Santa Barbara is filled with numerous historic buildings. Many of these buildings are being restored, and the passion to save such beautiful structures is high on the list of priorities, as it should be.
The building in the photograph is the historic Granada Theatre located on State St. in Santa Barbara. It is currently closed for renovation and the plans, which are well under way, call for the theater to reopen in May 2008. The building is an eight-story structure with beautiful Moorish arches inside. Also inside, wide staircases and Spanish fixtures add to a beauty beyond words.
The history of the Granada includes surviving the 1924 earthquake. And in its heyday, the building was host for such celebrities and attractions as Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Henry Fonda and the New York Philharmonic, just to name a few!
My challenge is this: How would you suggest I keep the authenticity of the period for this type of building and others like it that include many windows in the front of the structure and still include energy efficient window treatments that would not look too modern for the preservation project?
SOLUTION: This is, indeed, a beautiful building and I have had the opportunity to attend many functions at this gem in Santa Barbara. The windows seem to never end and I know the building is due for an extensive facelift. I can’t wait to see it finished!
Many buildings in Santa Barbara and Ventura County feature this rich Spanish architectural style. Any visit to Santa Barbara and surrounding coastal communities is a trip well taken.
As with many of the buildings in this area, windows are an integral part of the façade. State St. has numerous examples of buildings of this era and window treatments certainly can be a challenge, especially in the front of the building, which is seen by many!
There are many treatments I can suggest to address this issue, but I would offer one simple solution: Because of the numerous, repetitive style of these windows, a simple two-inch slat blind, either wood or aluminum, would be ideal as it would afford energy efficiency and would present a consistent look from the outside of the building that faces a busy street. This type of treatment could be raised and lowered easily as needed and would not distract from the personality of the building.
I would invite all readers to visit all the rich historic areas in Santa Barbara when you visit California. The Mission is another great building filled with rich history you would not want to miss, and do not forget the Santa Barbara Courthouse. It is breathtaking!
Editor’s note: This is a continuing series of articles written by Sharon L. Anderson that will answer some of the many questions we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings as well as questions Anderson has encountered in her own business. If you have a question you would like Anderson to address, please send it to:
c/o Draperies & Window Coverings
1724 E. Grand Ave.
Lindenhurst, IL 60046
Fax: (847) 356-9013
Sharon L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience in the residential and commercial areas of interior design. She is currently a faculty member at two Southern California colleges. Anderson has been featured in numerous books and publications.