A thriving, exciting business neighborhood in Santa Barbara.
Bounded by Garden, Cota, Milpas, Montecito, and Anacapa Streets, the Lagoon District is a unique neighborhood, distinct from others nearby such as the Funk Zone, Milpas Association, etc. and is poised to experience substantial growth and engagement among Santa Barbara locals and visitors alike.
An initiative of Pure Order Brewing Co., Playback Recording Studio and Oniracom, the Lagoon District is local and down-to-earth, disassociating from the general tourist culture of downtown and the increasing “LA culture” taking over the Funk Zone. The Lagoon District’s goals involve promoting businesses, producing fun events, and bringing local business to the Lagoon neighborhood instead of the Funk Zone.
The community character speaks to its a potential as a more local and authentic Santa Barbara neighborhood. It is casual, laid-back, yet professional- not corporate or formal. The neighborhood differentiates itself by being inclusive and communal.
The Lagoon District seeks to appeal to people who love meeting (and being inspired by) others who are adventurous, open, outdoorsy, eco-conscious explorers who think locally. These people can be either locals who want to escape State Street and the Funk Zone or tourists who want to abandon their tour guides for the real Santa Barbara. The overarching benefit is increased business, foot traffic and buzz- plus a veritable feeling of inclusive community for both businesses and customers.
History of the Lagoon
From Walker A. Tomkins "Eastside History"
Massive efforts to drain the mosquito-infested sloughs of the lower Eastside so as to reclaim the fertile acres of the Estero began as early as the 1860s when a ten-block-long canal was dug midway between Salsipuedes and Laguna Streets, from Haley on into the ocean. The unlined ditch silted up very quickly and no trace of it remains except the name “Canal Street.” This was changed to Olive Street in 1922 when the city planted olive trees on either side of the filled-in drainage ditch. Portions of the Eastside are still plagued by winter flooding, especially in the vicinity of Spring Street, and Eastside drainage remains a City Hall problem.
The lowest area on the Eastside was bounded by Ortega, Milpas, Haley and Olive Streets. For decades this swamp was used as the town dump. Fumes from smoldering garbage in the mucky cesspool remained a health hazard and a public scandal until the 1920s when the bog was cleaned up and converted to such attractive uses as Ortega Park, Santa Barbara Junior High School and one-family homes.