Old Mission
Founded 1804
Capuchin Franciscan
Santa Inés
Solvang, California
Sacred Heart Sisters
Mission Santa Inés

Mission Restoration

Over the years, many men and women both parishioners and non-parishioners have labored and contributed to preserve, restore and maintain this historic California Mission – Old Mission Santa Inés. Since Mission Santa Inés is among the oldest surviving structures in the state, repair and restoration is on-going. With each passing year, without proper conservation, mission walls crack and artwork fades. Restoration for this historic California state landmark and National Historic landmark building and museum treasures must be done to mission standards to ensure historical integrity and accurate preservation and adherence to government standards for historic properties.

Old Mission Santa Inés Yesterday and Today

Artist's Concept of Mission during 1800's

Old Mission Santa Inés today

Past efforts have included restoration of buildings that are made of adobe (dried mud) after exposure to the elements, shifting soils and earthquakes to ensure structural stabiity. Adobe is also susceptible to water damage. According to the California Mission Foundation:

"Many mission collections have never been fully catalogued or assessed due to a lack of financial resources. Costly archeological examinations are often required in conjunction with repair efforts. Expensive evaluations are necessary to unearth the full archeological significance of the missions." 

"Security of mission treasures has always been a challenge. Baroque statues, Indian basketry and stonework, candlesticks, textiles, historical photographs and mission era tools and artifacts have disappeared from unguarded missions. The California Missions Foundation is currently working to upgrade security at every mission with state-of-the-art equipment. Funding is needed to continue this important aspect of the overall preservation efforts." 

The California Mission Foundation's list of mission restoration needs includes:

  • Seismic retrofitting of mission structures, respecting their historical integrity
  • Stabilization of walls
  • Sealing and waterproofing adobe
  • Improving humidity and temperature controls to protect artwork and artifacts
  • Increasing security, surveillance, sensors and/or staffing
  • Cleaning and repairing art and artifacts
  • Restoring and preserving historic books and manuscripts
  • Restoring landscaping
  • Improving visitor facilities
  • Conducting archaeological research

The parish does not receive federal or state funding for restoration. Museum entrance fees and donations from parish fundraisers, individuals and foundations fund today's restoration efforts.  Every summer, the parishioners join together and hold various events including a raffle to raise funds for mission restoration. The Parish Men's Club also holds monthly pancake breakfasts with the proceeds going to mission restoration. Individual contributions and grants from private foundations such as the California Mission Foundation have also greatly helped past restoration efforts.

We thank you for supporting the restoration of this state and national treasure. Thank you for your contributions and generous support!                     

For information on how you can help with Old Mission Santa Inés restoration and conservation funding, call 805 688-4815

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