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American Riviera Bank Bestows the Prestigious Lutah Maria Riggs Award to Carl Palmer

Left to Right: Robert Ooley, Keith Rivera, Carl Palmer and Jason Wilson at the Santa Barbara chapter of the American Institute of Architects 2018 Design Awards Holiday Gala. (Photo credit: Jose Martinez)


American Riviera Bank Bestows the Prestigious Lutah Maria Riggs Award to Carl Palmer

American Riviera Bank, in partnership with the Santa Barbara chapter of the American Institute of Architects, was honored to serve as the annual sponsor of the Lutah Maria Riggs Award. The award this year honored Montecito resident Carl Palmer for his service to the community after the Jan. 9 debris flow.

The award is named for Lutah Maria Riggs, a trailblazing architect in Santa Barbara and the first female architect in California to be named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. She was noted in the Santa Barbara area for her signature style – which came to be known as the “Santa Barbara Style” – and her iconic design work on local landmarks including the Lobero Theatre. Riggs passed away in Montecito in 1984. The American Institute of Architects Santa Barbara created this award in 1979 to honor Riggs by acknowledging community members who have contributed to the greater good of all area residents. Riggs herself was the recipient of the first award in its first year (1980). This year, the AIA cast new medals for the first time since the award began and partnered with American Riviera Bank to once again award the medals on a yearly basis.

“American Riviera Bank was excited when the American Institute of Architects asked us to sponsor the Lutah Maria Riggs award every year moving forward. Since our community is so important to us, awarding an individual who contributes above and beyond to the greater good of our community is a perfect fit,” said Jason Wilson, Senior Vice President for American Riviera Bank.

Jason presented the medal to Palmer at the Institute’s 2018 Design Awards Holiday Gala held on Friday, Dec. 7, at the University Club in Santa Barbara.

Palmer was instrumental in forming and organizing the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade to help people after the debris flow. The Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade was originally formed to dig mud and debris out of people’s homes after the debris flow, with over 2,700 volunteers helping for three months to dig out nearly 80 homes, open spaces and beach areas. The Bucket Brigade continues with new projects to benefit the community, including debris removal and a memorial project.

Palmer also was on the steering committee for the AIASB Community Recovery Team, which helped homeowners and neighborhood organizing efforts, and brought the county and the building and architecture communities together to collaborate on recovery efforts.

“It is such an honor to receive the Lutah Maria Riggs Award. It has been an honor to help our neighbors and community this past year, working alongside remarkable people from the AIA community recovery team, county leadership, and the Bucket Brigade,” Palmer said.

“One thing is clear, this is a community that cares and that takes care of each other. There’s much work yet to be done and I look forward to helping mobilize help as we move through the upcoming anniversary of the debris flow and into the challenging second year of the recovery, with so many homeowners still out of their homes and much work to be done to build resiliency and connection in the community.”