About AFSB

Founded in 1983, the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is a public nonprofit charitable organization. With the goal of enhancing our community’s awareness and appreciation of architecture and the built environment, the Architectural Foundation offers and supports a diverse array of programs serving both North and South Santa Barbara County.These activities provide educational opportunities for the public and involve participation and support from local design and building professionals.

Through its ongoing programs and resources the Foundation seeks to promote quality in design, construction, and preservation and to foster an understanding of excellence in the urban environment.

Join and Support the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara

You don’t need to be an architect to join the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara – we welcome everyone! Membership ensures that you are the first to know about our events and become part of a vibrant community engaged in raising awareness about our built environment. Members also receive two complimentary Walking Tour tickets when they join AFSB.

All membership fees are put directly into our programs for kids and teens to provide a platform for them to reach their goals, or perhaps even discover for the first time an interest in art, architecture, or landscape architecture.

Volunteers are always needed and greatly appreciated! Opportunities to get involved are available through our many programs, including Kids Draw Architecture, BEEP, assisting with art openings and 1st Thursdays, and much more. Call or e-mail us to volunteer for upcoming events. Everyone is welcome!

Donate Today
The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which means your membership fees and all other dollars received go straight into enhancing our community and providing a platform for our children to build their futures on. Upon request, contributions may go directly into the Scholarship Fund, which will helps college students obtain an architectural or related degree. Donations can be used in one of our programs dedicated to supporting our future architects and artists. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us over the years – your contributions are invaluable.


In 1990, through the gift of a generous donor, the historic Acheson House became the headquarters of the Architectural Foundation. This distinguished example of Victorian Italianate residential design was originally built in 1904. Centrally located in downtown Santa Barbara, the Acheson House is the focus for the Foundation’s many activities. The donation of the Acheson House to the Architectural Foundation to promote public involvement in the architectural profession is the first gift of this kind and magnitude to any architectural foundation in the United States.

In 2012, contributions from generous donors funded the exterior restoration of the Acheson House. The restoration project consisted of complete exterior repainting in a City Landmarks Committee historically approved palette; much needed repairs to damaged exterior wood trim, window sashes; and refurbished entry landscaping.

2012 Acheson House Restoration Donors:


The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is partially supported by the endowment generously established in 1983 to create the AFSB as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization. To supplement  this endowment each year grant monies and donations are solicited to support and enable AFSB programs, to give modest stipends to office interns, and to maintain the Acheson House. The following local philanthropic organizations have graciously provided grants to the AFSB:

Santa Barbara County Arts Commission
Arts Commision Logo
Organizational Development Grant
This project is funded in part by the Organizational Development Grant Program using funds provided by the City of Santa Barbara in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission.
Rotary Club of Santa Barbara North Charitable Foundation New Computer Equipment
Santa Barbara Beautiful Acheson House Restoration Project
American Institute of Architects Acheson House Restoration Project
The Towbes Foundation Acheson House Restoration Project
Anonymous Educational programs