Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

By John Palminteri, KEYT News

The historic Casa de la Guerra in downtown was trashed sometime Sunday or Monday.

Several homeless people were sleeping in the area.A crew from the Downtown Organization cleaned up the mess and took out a full truck load of debris.

The site dates back to the 1800’s in Santa Barbara and was the home of Jose de la Guerra, a Comandante of the Santa Barbara Presidio.

Read more on keyt.com


Written by Primetime

Legendary reporter and man on the street, John Palminteri

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  1. A bunch of students caused way more damage when they had a little picnic at the Tea Garden and left embers that burned down dozens if not hundreds of homes and killed half a dozen residents. Were you calling for extreme measures then? This was cleaned up in an hour and Palmintieri knew it would stir outrage where a party of millennials would not. Offer up some LAWFUL solutions, SBO, instead of bellyaching like an impotent bovine stuck on the wrong side of a mudhole.

  2. It’s so sad to see how we have squandered the beautiful city we inherited from prior generations. There is so much history here, and so much hard work went into building our city. Now its nothing more than a hangout for addicts and a trash dump. I suppose nothing can last forever. I will always cherish my memories of the clean, vibrant, and thriving Santa Barbara that used to be.

  3. Absolutely disgusting. I had to go to city hall before COVID hit (so before downtown became 100% zombified) and there was a guy sleeping on the upper walkway/patio by the entrance on DLG plaza side. In DLG itself were the usuals – tons of homeless camping out on the grass. I purchased a copy of Lutah Maria Riggs’ plan for DLG plaza, which has it as a lovely park with a fountain and benches, etc. I would LOVE to see that as a central feature downtown. DLG reclaimed as a grand park – plus a park extension in the existing News Press parking lot – which is totally wasted space as it stands now. The problem – as always in SB – is how to keep the homeless from overtaking it. Remember when they spent millions to build Chase Palm Park? I hear some locals actually go there and I guess there are some decent concerts, but as a woman I find it downright menacing. I have never been there in the 20+ years since it was built and have no plans to. It is filled with homeless and has been from day one. When will the rights of the many – to access clean and safe public spaces – take precedence over the rights of the few? Right now the rights of the few (the homeless) trump the rights of the many. For those who are interested in seeing Lutah’s plans, you can see a copy here: https://sbhistoricalblog.com/2015/02/11/the-life-of-lutah-a-panel-discussion/

  4. Casa De La Guerra is not City property. It is owned by the Santa Barbara Historical Trust for Historic Preservation in partnership with the State Parks System. They can legally give them the bum’s rush, but they are too cheap to hire enough security.

  5. They may as well leave the trash there. That’s what California is going to look like the longer we keep the economy on lockdown. I expect homelessness and mental illness to rise astronomically. Also, how is that curbside pickup going? Not well from what I understand. A total bust of a plan. Phase 3 anyone?

  6. Edhat seems to have been captured by some scary right wing law and order and mean folks. This is really a pretty minor thing, certainly not worth the “sky is falling” hysterics being posted about it. Clean it up (nothing was permanently harmed) and prepare for the future with proper security. And think about maybe doing something to house the homeless even if “they” were not proven responsible for this incident.

  7. Sure, this in and of itself is a minor thing. But the issues of homelessness in general and its effects on downtown, our parks, etc. is not a minor thing. Most homeless are not from Santa Barbara. And most do not have housing issues. What they actually have are drug/alcohol and subsequent mental illness problems. It’s not about building more homes for them. And we should not have a come one, come all policy to providing shelter.

  8. My brother is homeless (although down in LA County somewhere) and is mentally ill but does not take drugs or drink alcohol. Many homeless are mentally ill due to medical reasons and not by choice. It would be nice if there was a way to increase services for the mentally ill.

  9. There’s an easy solution to the homeless problem. Address the grotesque inequality in society. Let’s have a wealth tax, a tax on investment properties, a pied-a-terre tax on vacation homes, taxes on vacant properties, taxes on McMansions, etc. Let’s have some compassion for those who are down and out, stop being judgmental and presumptuous about why they’re homeless, give them a roof over their heads, food, and access to health care. It’s a no brainer, but every Tom, Dick and Harry aspires to be rich “one day” and refuses to acknowledge what would be a correct, sensible, intelligent, and ethical solution to the problem of homelessness.

  10. @LOOSE Those taxes already exist. They are called property taxes and people who own property in Santa Barbara pay a boatload. What you should be asking is what has happened to all the grant money the city of Santa Barbara receives from the state and various organizations to help the homeless? What about those that refuse help? This isn’t about money, the money is there. If local government really wanted to help they could. Instead of more taxes on property owners how about cutting city employee benefits and pensions?

  11. This isn’t a housing or inequality issue. If it was you would see thousands of illegal immigrants living on the streets. A lot of those people who are homeless are homeless due to drug addiction or refusal to be apart of society. Even though wealth inequality exist, it is a completely different issue.

  12. The homeless people have taken over Santa Barbara. Before the city talks about opening things back up they need to disinfect all sidewalks, benches and streets in the past few months they have gotten completely out of control. People are taking about shutting state street down so people can eat outside which sounds great but not when you have people taking a dump feet away. Clean up SB! we have some of the best resources for the homeless but some of them rather live on the streets than in a homeless shelter. We are sending inmates on the streets straight out of county without proper meds and out to do who knows what. We need to get control of our city

  13. Bums, graffiti and refuse right across from City Hall. A rather symbolic example of the failure of our city’s managers, elected and appointed officials. Make no mistake. Santa Barbara is accelerating towards bankruptcy and austerity. Its managers and officials grossly unqualified to solve the problems at hand. Heck, they couldnt even fix the problems when times were great and these nincompoops want to keep their jobs?

  14. RHS When you step in human feces in front of your place of business it’s disgusting. It is estimated one million illegal immigrants move into LA County from South America every year. You dont see them homeless on the street.. If all those people can figure out housing so can everyone else. It’s a mental illness/ drug / alcohol abuse problem. You cannot help people who don’t want it.

  15. What will happen when the city opens State St. as a pedestrian mall? Fingers crossed this is done and fingers crossed the homeless will not be allowed to loiter anywhere near where food is served. Any new homeless gathering area needs to be addressed immediately. The city needs to send a team that day, clear it out, and clean it up. Otherwise, it is build it and they will come. Just like all the encampments near Las Positas that are allowed by the city.

  16. Loose: This is exactly why “the rich” hide their money, legally or otherwise. Even those who are not “rich” hide their money as best they can (not reporting cash transactions, tips, etc.). I don’t have that much, but I certainly don’t want you to tell me what to do with what I have. The “homeless” always have money for tats, piercings, booze, weed, etc., and your easy-peasy solution is to give ’em what I have. Sorry Charles.

  17. Once a place loses it’s status as a tourist destination, it isn’t able to be rebuilt for a long time. Word gets around. If indeed, we are supporting vagrants to a better life-style than other places, we need to quit. If you put out bird feeders, you attract birds; if you have cats, just the opposite.

  18. What will happen you ask. The city will hire a consultant who will recommend some common sense solutions for the bargain price of $800,000. Solutions that have been discussed for decades by the people of SB will be ignored and instead the city will implement what the Mayor’s hand picked team of local realtors, property developers, accountants, lawyers and insurance salesmen (the make up of the local Chamber of Commerce) thinks is the best plan. The city will then hire Granite Construction who will pull workers from Ventura Co to move a few curbs, put up signs and lampposts for the bargain price of $3m a block. Now flash forward a few years. The homeless problem will have skyrocketed, the majority of storefronts will be empty, the city’s budget shortfall will have quadrupled and the newly formed Department of State St will be filled with $250k a year “managers” who are “deeply concerned”… About 3 years into it, the city will pay out a $30m legal settlement to Barry Cappello and team for some idiotic mismanagement and grossly negligent lapse where the city forgot to put in ADA curbs or something equally as dumb… Barry, who by the way has no problem stealing your grand kids lunch money will not think twice about the morality or value of his actions will just buy a bigger house in Montecito and funnel a few bucks to the Montecito Journal. I could be wrong, but based on the last 30 years of action by the city I’m probably not that far off…

  19. Someone on here (I think it was FACTOTUM) once suggested that we group the homeless into 3 categories: the have nots, the cannots, and the will nots. Then you tailor your services accordingly (or perhaps not at all for the will nots). Many of the groups or organizations in town that serve the homeless only work with those who are willing to accept the help. Not much you can do for people who don’t want to change their lifestyle.

  20. I’m not a fan of “the house of war” but I must say trashing a building that is used by the public is disgusting ! … and even more infuriating is if you or I merely littered a little bit we would be $fined$ immediately. Why do the “homeless” always get a free pass for this and public urination/defacation… distubing the peace by ranting in a steady stream of curse words, aggressive panhandling etc. ??? 🙁

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