Japantown Atlas - Southern California - Santa Barbara

Detailed Map: Central Santa Barbara: Japanese American Businesses in 1940

This map shows Santa Barbara's Japantown on East Canon Perdido Street in 1940. In this one block (!) we find Christian and Buddhist churches, two Japanese schools, boarding houses, a store, a midwife, and a bathhouse. A handful of businesses were located outside this area (see overview map inset).

Santa Barbara's downtown burned to the ground in 1924, and city fathers (and mothers?) ensured that new construction was in a romantic "Spanish" style. The Sanborn maps show adobe dwellings (brown outline) and angled property lines from when this was the Presidio of Santa Barbara. Some of the adobes have become (by the 1930s) art studios and galleries. This old part of town appears to have been a hotbed of arts.

In the 1960s this block became part of the State Historic Park. In the process, while several of the adobes have been restored, Japantown's Anglo-period wood-frame buildings were torn down. The Buddhist Church built a new facility on E. Gutierrez, 1-1/2 blocks east of Milpas.



12/29/06, reposted 3/14/08