For 60 years Lutah Maria Riggs blazed a trail for architects and women, relying on the courage of her convictions and a hint of eccentricity.


In a time when most women’s highest expectation was marriage, Riggs pursued her passion and created a life of independence, an exceptional choice for a woman at that time. In addition to her buildings, Lutah also left a legacy: She was a self-made woman who boldly overcame barrier after barrier.


“I dedicated myself to architecture… it comes first, I come last.”
— Lutah Maria Riggs


LUTAH explores the life of a little known architect who left a big legacy. Lutah designed iconic buildings in Santa Barbara such as the Lobero Theater, Vedanta Temple, and the Botanic Garden and was integral to rebuilding the damaged city after the 1925 earthquake. She designed exquisite homes in many styles for some of Santa Barbara’s greatest philanthropists and spent hundreds of volunteer hours laying the foundation for the Santa Barbara Landmarks Commission. Lutah did all of this as an independent woman at the turn of the 20th century.

LUTAH offers never before seen photos and journal entries from Riggs’ personal collection, and candid interviews reveal the fascinating woman behind the drafting table.




66 mins
2014, USA
The Pearl Theatre, 37 Hall Street


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