Historic Places

Welcome to the Santa Monica Conservancy’s historic places section.

Santa Monica has a wealth of  historic resources dating back as early as the 1800s.  The City is one of California’s most architecturally, culturally, and historically significant communities with nearly 100 landmarks and structures of merit and two historic districts.

Using our interactive map,  you will be able to delve deeper into specific neighborhoods and explore Santa Monica’s architectural history.  Please note:  The Conservancy is committed to updating the map and adding properties on an ongoing basis.

History of Santa Monica

Few traces remain today of Santa Monica’s early history – home to Gabrieleno Indians and Spanish and Mexican ranchos.  The town of Santa Monica was launched by two entrepreneurs:  Colonel Robert S. Baker, who made a fortune in mining equipment before taking up cattle and sheep ranching, and Senator John P. Jones of Nevada, owner of silver mines.  They purchased land along the coast, hoping to develop a prosperous industrial port.  An eloquent auctioneer initiated the sale of the first town lots for the new city on July 10, 1875 with evocative imagery…more