The City of Santa Barbara, California, became the community that it is through planning. In her book,
Santa Barbara: An Uncommonplace American Town, former Mayor Sheila Lodge documents the many battles it sometimes took, the unanticipated events, and the process that was
developed to make the critical decisions necessary to guide development of Santa Barbara over the course of 170 years.
The Uncommonplace American Town Oral History Collection contains oral histories conducted by Sheila Lodge during development
of her publication,
Santa Barbara: An Uncommonplace American Town — How Thoughtful Planning Shaped a City, published in 2020. The people interviewed were involved in the urban planning of Santa Barbara during the last half of the
Sheila Lodge was born at home on her parents' dairy in Arcadia, California. She is a life-long Californian except for 2 1/2
years in Annapolis, Maryland, where she taught school and did social work. She returned to California in 1950 and came to
Santa Barbara in 1952. She served on the Santa Barbara City Planning Commission from 1973-1975, the City Council from 1975-1981,
and as the first woman, and longest serving Mayor, from 1981-1993. An incurable public policy wonk, she's been back on the
Planning Commission since 2009, where she started her civic life.
Property rights reside with the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact
the Head Archivist of the Gledhill Library.
Collection is open for research.