The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation offers three unique rental venues for your special event.
The Presidio Chapel, the Casa de la Guerra, and the Alhecama Theatre.
Between these venues, we can accommodate anywhere from 25-200 guests. We offer both indoor and outdoor locations and provide parking and limited rental equipment. Our venues are unique historic properties that radiate charm and will make your event distinctive and memorable.
The Presidio Chapel
The Presidio Chapel is furnished as it would have been in the late 18th century. The whitewashed walls are punctuated by paintings and candle sconces, and the altar is dressed with a spectacular reredos (altarpiece), altar frontal, and candlesticks. Period Santos fill the niches. The interior walls and altar rail are painted to represent marble or tapestry. A small balcony overhanging the interior front of the building adds charm and utility and can be used to house vendors such as musicians or photographers. The acoustics are ideal for any genre of music, overall making this the perfect place for all of life’s special celebrations and events. The Presidio Chapel is a non-denominational wedding ceremony venue. Seating Capacity: 180
Casa de la Guerra
Located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, Casa de la Guerra is centrally located near many attractions and hotels. Using materials and building methods similar to its original construction, the Casa has been restored to its original appearance during the time Presidio Commandant José de la Guerra and his family resided there, between 1828 and 1858. The courtyard offers strings of lights for ambiance, decomposed granite flooring in an open courtyard, and easy access for vendors/rental companies. Use of a prep kitchen, restrooms, and storage room on site is also available. Capacity: 250
Built for the Santa Barbara School of the Arts, the Alhecama Theatre was originally used for drama, music, and dance classes. We recently completed the restoration of this special facility, which has had a continuous community use since its construction as the Pueblo Theatre in 1925. The beautiful interior, with its recently restored original oak floors, stage, and a mural by American artist Ross Dickenson, is an ideal location for weddings and receptions. Seated Dining Capacity: 100-120
Please contact us for more information or to set up a time to view one of historic, unique venues!
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Micha · Married on 08/08/2015
To begin with I should mention that we got married during Old Spanish Days, which took this from being a great venue to the best ceremony venue ever. My husband and I are from New York and found it difficult to find a Catholic Church in Santa Barbra. To add to the difficulty, my husband is not Catholic himself. These limitations made it really hard to find a church for us to get married in, but since that’s where I’d always imagined my wedding, we didn’t give up. El Presidio ended up being the perfect venue for us. A rebuilt museum of the oldest Catholic church in Santa Barbara, El Presidio is no longer a traditional church so it allows non-denominational ceremonies of all kinds in a very Catholic setting. Rain, the coordinator at El Presidio, was very helpful in getting us all set up to walk down the aisle on one of the busiest weekends in Santa Barbra. There was a private parking lot for our wedding and great rooms for our wedding party to pass time before the ceremony. El Presidio is built in the traditional adobe style so even at the beginning of August there was no problem with us being overheated in the church during the ceremony. The venue itself required almost no additional decorations which was a great cost saver for us. We only added candles. Rain really knew all the tricks for elevating our ceremony to the next level, including ringing the traditional church bells as we exited the church for the first time as husband and wife. I highly recommend this venue for anyone looking for a traditional venue that is open to something a little funkier. Overall working with Rain and El Presidio was such a joy and allowed us to have the wedding ceremony I’ve always imagined.Sent on 08/17/2015
Lauren · Married on 01/31/2015
We held our wedding at the historic El Presidio this past Saturday, January 31, 2015 in Santa Barbara, CA. We can't say enough about how gorgeous and charming the property is. The Spanish style Chapel was built in the late 1700's, with an outside of beautiful white adobe, while the inside is almost indescribable due to how unique and special it is. They offer the rental of historic spanish soldados, men in spanish uniform to be present at the wedding offering a really unique flair to the site, as well as a real cannon firing. Plus, when the ceremony was over, the chapel bells were rung for almost three minutes. Renee (Rain) Longo, the venue's event planner was amazing....she walked us through a rehearsal the day before, was there the day-off to make sure everything went well, recommended the mariachi band we hired, and overall was just amazing. All of our guests had the most wonderful time.Sent on 02/03/2015
Dan · Married on 07/12/2014
The chapel is part of a reconstructed 18th century Spanish fort, the founding site of Santa Barbara, This is a charming venue with wonderful acoustics, ample parking, and a historic vibe.Sent on 07/22/2014