Mixed Reviews of New Santa Barbara Police Station Design
By edhat staff
The Architectural Board of Review (ABR) provided mixed reviews of the new Santa Barbara Police Station on E. Cota Street during their meeting on Monday.
The three-story, 53-foot high, 65,000 square foot station will take over the commuter parking lot at 119 E. Cota Street, where the Saturday Farmer's Market takes place. An associated 37.5-foot high and 86,000 square foot parking structure will also be built to accommodate 244 parking spaces. Each structure would have a subterranean level and additional surface parking would be provided.
Additionally, a total of 24 Tipuana tipu trees and 6 oak trees would be removed, but replaced with 26 new trees and have 700 solar panels installed. The existing MTD bus stop shelter on Cota Street would be relocated, along with the existing plaques commemorating the old Lincoln School.
The $80 million police headquarters project, lead by architect Brian Cearnal, will consolidate police operations from four separate sites.
ABR members provided a range of thoughts during the concept review. One member stated the current design leaves no room for expansion and it just barely fits the site selection. Other comments included critiques of the design stating it's too modern and cold, doesn't offer community openness, and doesn't fit with Santa Barbara's Mediterranean Spanish architecture.
There were no issues with the size of the building but concerns were raised about the main entrance being on the one-way Santa Barbara Street and the Cota Commuter Lot not being the best location.
The project will move to the Planning Commission for review providing public comment options.
Artistic renderings by Cearnal Collective of the new Santa Barbara Police Station at 119 E. Cota Street