Preservation of a Legacy

Gil Sanchez

Gil Sanchez with his wife, Daryl Allen

Gil Sanchez's connection to the UC Santa Barbara campus developed through the UCSB Library. A renowned, award-winning architect, Gil was approached by the Library with a request to house his collection of architectural drawings, research, photographs, and correspondence in the University's California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives (CEMA). Now known as the Gil Sanchez Papers, this compilation of documents illustrates Gil's long and successful career and focus on his work preserving historic adobe buildings. Recognizing that the many Special Collections at the Library require funding to ensure proper curation, cataloging, and public access, Gil named the UCSB Library as a beneficiary of a generous bequest in his estate plans.

Born in California to Mexican farmworkers who later worked on the construction of cargo ships during WWII, Gil became interested in art at a very young age. Following high school and a 3-year stint in the military, Gil became an architect's apprentice and studied with a variety of architects up and down the California coast. He opened his own practice in 1973 after completing the state's exam to earn his architect's license, and the firm subsequently specialized in historic restoration. Gil's wife, Daryl Allen, joined the firm, taking her own architecture courses and playing a significant role in the research required for the restoration projects.

Gil's firm has restored, rehabilitated, and documented the history of more than 45 adobe buildings in the Southwest. In the process, Gil has gained a reputation as a leading practitioner in historic adobe construction, with projects including the Santa Barbara Presidio, and the Missions at San Juan Bautista and San Jose. He is the recipient of numerous architecture awards and was named a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects, a recognition awarded to only 1,700 of the 56,000 members.

Gil, who states that his "joy is in the work," is delighted to have his collection preserved at UCSB and is especially proud that it is housed in the CEMA archives. His generous bequest will help ensure that his remarkable legacy remains available for future generations to access for years to come.

You can follow Gil's example and preserve what you love at UCSB. To learn how to make a gift in your will to UC Santa Barbara Foundation, contact Ilana Ormond at or 805-893-5556.