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Stowe House Restorations
updated: Apr 07, 2014, 9:15 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

What the heck is going on at Stowe House gardens under the label of "historical restoration" ? Most of the mature native perennials, shrubs and trees ( and wonderfully diverse bird habitat) east of the house has been ripped out. Sydney Baumgartner is the LA on the project. Does anyone know if public input was sought? Seems there has been info published here and there, but no specifics could be found.

Presumable the Board of SH is aiming at enlarging the "rentable space" at Stowe House, but did they think out the consequences to native fauna when doing so? Anyone know here can complete plans be viewed?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 509246P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-07 09:34 AM

The Stow House is under the jurisdiction of the City of Goleta. Contact their planning department and they will direct you.


 COMMENT 509261 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-07 10:28 AM

They needed to enlarge the space so as to compete with Montecito as a viable venue for the next Kardashian wedding.


 COMMENT 509263 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-07 10:38 AM

Last I heard, they were restoring the gardens to a more historical state. Remember it was all in fashion to have tropical plants. There were several nurseries supplying tropicals in the area.

The natives took over but don't worry. They whole place around the lake surrounded by open space filled with natives. I think we can allow a few public spaces to show case our history and if we want more natives, we should replace our own lawn with them


 COMMENT 509279 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-07 11:34 AM

Mrs. Stow brought in and planted a number of exotic and unique plants and trees when she lived in the house, but many of them had gotten hidden by natives or other overgrowth over the years. I believe that part of the plan is to clear out the excess growth so that her original plantings can be enjoyed.


 COMMENT 509291 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-07 12:09 PM

Although within the jurisdictional boundaries of the City of Goleta, the Stow House is controlled by the Goleta Valley Historical Society who leases the property from the City. Contact GVHS for information on the on-going restoration of the historical arboretum. Their website contains information on this project; hover over the VISIT tab on their main web page, go to Gardens, then click on Arboretum Restoration Project.


 COMMENT 509411 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-07 10:41 PM

I agree that it is simply abhorrent to see what is being done to the property. I really cannot stand to walk through it any longer. So many of the beautiful plantings have been ripped out, I presume to make space for those money-generating events.

Even if it was being "restored" to it's former state, there is something lovely about strolling through an area in its current form, after years of change. The old plant species that spread across the grounds brought thoughts of the people who wandered and lived there and how time has flowed since.

So often change is for the worse....


 COMMENT 509417 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-08 06:44 AM

Funny I remember when they cancelled the lemon festival because to many people attending.Now its events every weekend...

I live in the neighborhood and with all the "free" events and the amount they charge for parking, the nearby areas are flooded with trash and wondering buzzed concert goers.

Who gets the money from the parking on the empty lot next to the fire station


 COMMENT 509420 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-08 07:01 AM

I remember stumbling upon several very unusual horticultural specimens being consumed by vinca and other vegetation when I worked at the place in the mid 80's. Always wondered what it looked like in its heyday.

Sidney knows her stuff. I am confident she has made a successful plan that respects the history. The powers-that-be may be another story. Don't slam the designer for a situation that others have created. Historical restoration is almost always problematic with competing interests, and the landscape architect turns arbiter...much like a residence where the husband and wife have different competing ideas that the designer must reconcile. Who knew a landscape architect needed MFCC skills?


 COMMENT 509430P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-08 07:40 AM

"Garden Restoration" is actually just habitat destruction. Fauna diversity is already declining: Don't see bobcats anymore, don't hear owls anymore. And all the crowds coming to all the events taking place there scare off even more wildlife. Yes, there is plenty of wild vegetation throughout the rest of the property, but who knows where the historical committee will stop?


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-08 07:42 AM

If the Stows didn't plant native species, why would anyone want them there now? Restoration respects Mrs. Stow's plan for her garden. It takes money to keep this place running, hence, venues that bring income.


 BONNER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-08 07:48 AM

Historical preservation requires funding to keep it going and provide education and viewing for the public to enjoy. There's a balance and that is what the GVHS is trying to accomplish. Would naysayers prefer the place be left unkempt and families not able to enjoy and learn about Goleta's wonderful past. Why not volunteer to help this museum out and become a part of the community efforts. Speculation is easy, involvement is not...find out the real facts by checking into the website or talking to a director. It's a wonderful community resource, no deltopia!!!


 COMMENT 509443 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-08 08:15 AM

It is vey easy to bitch about something that you stroll through and enjoy for free. Become a member, find out what the problems and benefits are of any change to the house or grounds and then you can, as a member, voice your opinion with some weight and perhaps effect the change you desire.


 COMMENT 509457 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-08 09:04 AM

"Who gets the money from the parking on the empty lot next to the fire station/"

Nobody, the church doesn't charge a fee for parking on the dirt lot.


 COMMENT 509539 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-08 01:30 PM

I will never understand the entitlement people here seem to think they have. Restoraton, modification and preservaton all can and will take place without your permission. You do not own or have a right to the property. You enjoy it at the grace of the City. Respect that and mind your business.


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