What is the Isla Vista LocalWiki? This is a project to collect knowledge about IV, to share our IV and celebrate it with each other - from the freshman who knows where to find a great sandwich to the long-time resident who remembers what used to be here.
Instead of memories and wisdom slipping away when people move, or scattered across the web in hard-to-find Facebook captions and blog posts, or buried deep in the library, we can write and link to everything here, in a way that is easy to navigate and always available.
It's a bit like Wikipedia, but much more relaxed - your personal knowledge is valid to add here, as well as information from news articles, library archives, and other sources. This wiki can include history, culture, politics, governance, art, architecture, geology, food - anything we want to share.
Isla Vista is a complex place for being small and relatively new (with few residents before 1954), and a wiki tends to be a collection of interesting pieces rather than a comprehensive story. For existing work, the UCSB Library has a list of IV history resources, including books published by Carmen Lodise (Isla Vista: A Citizen's History) and Malcolm Gault-Williams (Sunshine Revolutionaries). Jennifer Strand's scholarly history of the early years of IV, Evolution of a Boom Town: Isla Vista, California, 1915-1968, is available on the web.
How to contribute
You can edit any page by clicking the Edit button near the article's title, and you can start a new article using "I want to make a page about" above. Check out How to Contribute and Articles People Want for suggestions for this wiki, but also feel free to ignore all of that and write whatever you like - be bold!
Any questions? Join the Isla Vista LocalWiki Help Group on Facebook or say hi on Questions and Discussion. LocalWiki is a nonprofit organization that hosts wikis like this one for free (help support it!), and volunteers run and edit the wikis. This wiki was started by Britta in November 2014. UCSB students have contributed to it, including SOC 194 Spring 2015, HIST 192DR Spring 2015, ANTH 152/ES 151 Spring 2017, and HIST 9 Fall 2019.
To subscribe to seeing featured articles, like the Isla Vista LocalWiki page on Facebook.
You can browse Articles By Decade, or by subject:
Businesses and commercial buildings
List of articles about restaurants and cafes - including Bagel Cafe, Caje, Dublin's, El Sitio, Freebirds World Burrito, Giovanni's Pizza, IV Deli Mart, IV Drip, Silvergreens, South Coast Deli, Subway, The Cantina, Woodstock's.
955 Embarcadero Del Mar - a commercial building from 1961.
Houses and other residential buildings
- Geodesic Dome House - built by a graduate student in the 1970s and a landmark house since then.
- Rancho House - a hidden house and music venue, sometimes rumored to be the oldest house in IV.
- Parking Lot House - a mysterious house torn down to build Campus 880.
- The three houses at the end of Del Playa - stylish modern houses built in the 1950s and 60s for professors.
- The Loop - a large mixed-use high-end student-marketed apartment complex built in 2011, the first of several.
- Apartment Buildings with Classy Names - 1960s weirdness, from "OK" Chalet to Penthouse.
- Architectural Styles - an incomplete list of interesting styles you may find in IV, mostly in residential buildings.
- Eucalyptus Curtain - the tall row of trees between IV and UCSB, planned to be replaced by housing.
- The Jailhouse - a ruined beach house that now hosts graffiti art, formerly part of the Campbell Ranch.
- Former Halfway House - on Trigo for 20 years, closed in 2005.
- Tiki House - a house on Del Playa known for parties, rumored to be from 1905 (but probably not).
- Pescadero Lofts - county-run housing for formerly houseless community members, established in 2014.
- Santa Catalina (Francisco Torres) - the large dorm at the corner of IV, built in 1966 and acquired by UCSB in 2002.
- Santa Barbara Student Housing Co-op
Art and music
- IV First Fridays
- Lost Murals of Isla Vista - the historic art that has been destroyed in the process of redeveloping IV.
- Perfect Park Peace Monument
- Artists from/in Isla Vista
Bands based out of Isla Vista - IV's music culture and the rehearsal studios that used to be where Icon Gardens is now.
Counterculture Tiles - from around 1970, on Pardall and Madrid.
WORD Magazine - a UCSB student magazine about IV arts and culture.
Nuestra Voz - a UCSB class where students work with IV teenagers to write and perform plays.
Government and civic involvement
- How to Get Involved in IV Community Organizing - how to keep up on all the different events that are happening.
- Local Politicians - who are these names you might hear about, and what do they do?
- Goleta West Sanitary District - ever wonder who treats IV's sewage?
- Isla Vista Redevelopment Project Area Committee
- Isla Vista Facade Improvement Program - a county program that partially sponsors storefront renovations in IV.
Santa Barbara Grand Jury - what this is, and its findings on IV.
Pardall Solar Parking Lot - a public parking lot owned by the county.
History and Historical Events in IV
- A Brief History of IV (based on a no-longer available UCSB Associated Students page; see 2013 archive.org page documenting its former existence)
- History of Isla Vista - localwiki working together on telling this story.
- 1970, Feb. 25: Burning of the Bank of America
- 2011, Nov. 9-Dec. 15: Occupy Isla Vista
Parks, gardens, and nature
- Wildlife Sightings
- Pardall entrance - the tiny park area outside Pardall Tunnel.
- Albino Raccoons - a favorite local legend since at least the mid-2000s.
- Surfer and Shark Interactions- about the shark species common to Isla Vista and how local surfers usually view them.
- Coal Oil Point - an open space that is unusually dense with history, including the Cliff House at Coal Oil Point and the Enchanted Forest.
- Old Campbell Barn - a graceful but earthquake-damaged horse barn, also formerly part of the Campbell Ranch.
- The Beach - and the erosion of the bluffs at the edge of IV.
- UCSB Greenhouse and Garden Project - a beautiful secret spot near Harder Stadium.
- Isla Vista Recreation and Park District - including the Adopt-A-Block litter pickup volunteer program.
- Isla Vista Farm Project - advocates for organic agriculture in IV in the late 1970s.
- UCSB/IV Bees and Beekeeping
Window to the Sea Park - hosts a collection of flowers, shrubs and trees, and a love seat swing over the Pacific Ocean.
- List of articles about parks, including Anisq'Oyo' Park, Tipi Village, Window to the Sea Park, and the Red Barn.
- List of articles about churches and other religious organizations, including St. Marks University Parish, St. Michael's University Church, United Methodist Church.
- A.S. Pardall Center, part of ASUCSB
- Devereux Campus
- Gay Liberation Front, a group in IV in 1970.
- Isla Vista Food Cooperative
- Isla Vista Free Box
- Isla Vista Women's Center, a feminist organization on Pardall Road in the 1970s.
- Isla Vista Youth Projects, founded in 1971.
- Maharishi International University, a small college located in IV from 1973 to 1974.
- Santa Barbara Student Housing Co-op
- UAW Local 2865
Life in IV
- Move Out Madness - a lot of stuff gets left on the street in June.
- Walking in the Street and Biking in IV - transportation in a dense neighborhood.
- Party Culture in Isla Vista and Floatopia and Deltopia
- Short Cuts - some of the secret paths between blocks.
- Power Outages - and their relationship with fire.
- Couch Fires - a thing that happens.
- Hmong people - families in the 70s and 80s.
- Birthday Deals - discounts and free food/drinks you can get on your birthday in IV.
- Free food, showers, and laundry
- Things to do on Weekends
- Houseless Isla Vista residents - History and Daily Life
- Suns out, Buns Out!
If you're interested in the history of our next-door neighbor, Goleta History is a neat blog. If you're curious about the "Isla" in "Isla Vista", Islapedia is the encyclopedia about all things California Channel Islands.