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100 W Carrillo St

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Designation Status: Designated City Landmark

Assessor Parcel Number: 039-272-023

Historic Name: Tree of Light

Constructed: c. 1878

Property Description:

A Norfolk Island Star Pine Tree (Araucaria excelsa), approximately 90 feet tall, evergreen, and in fairly good condition. Located on NW corner of Chapala and W Carrillo Streets on the same property as the old YMCA building. The tree is prominent in the Cityscape and is visible to travelers coming up Chapala Street from the freeway.

Architect: Planted

Architectural Style:

Property Type:

Original Use:

Significance:

Designated City of Santa Barbara Landmark (12/06/1977).

This Norfolk Island pine tree is said to have been planted by Dr. Robert F Winchester in 1878 to mark the birth of his baby daughter. At the time he was living in Col. W. W. Hollister's adobe house on the property. The adobe had been built by Jose Lobero sometime after his arrival in the late 1850s. During the 1920s, the Community Christmas celebrations became popular under the direction of Miss Pearl Chase and her committees. A feature of the celebration which still survives is the lighting of the Community Christmas tree. The tree is decorated with white light bulbs which are switched on by a child in a civic ceremony and the Tree of Light glows as a Christmas symbol during the holiday season.

Significance as a City Landmark as per Landmarks Committee findings (Resolution No. 2) for following criteria:

A,C) The tree's position in the history of downtown Santa Barbara. The tree was planted on property owned and built up by significant historical figures of Santa Barbara (Jose Lobero and Col. W. W. Hollister). The property was sold to the YMCA in 1911. The tree was then adopted as part of an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony that became popular during the 1920s under the direction of Pearl Chase and still survives to this day. During the ceremony, the "Tree of Light" is switched on by a child and stays lit during the holiday season.
I) The tree's significant location in the center of downtown and its size and prominence on the streetscape.

Download Department of Parks and Recreation Form