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735 Anacapa St

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Designation Status: Designated City Landmark

Assessor Parcel Number: 037-092-037

Historic Name: City Hall

Constructed: 1923

Property Description:

Designed in 1919 in a Spanish Colonial Revival style with elements of Mission Revival, City Hall exhibits careful consideration of pedestrian walkways, with numerous arcades and easy to navigate axes. The building has a shallow unadorned cornice with shallow molding below a red tile roof. In contrast to recessed windows on the east elevation, all other elevations are accented with one-over-one windows. Iron grilles adorn the lower half of the upper windows. The main entrance, embellished with stone relief and engaged columns, looks over a small lawn. A gently sloped ramp with four decorative lanterns and a tiled floor extends from the plaza’s blind arcade to the covered sidewalk.

Architect: Sauter and Lockard

Architectural Style: Spanish Colonial Revival

Property Type: City Hall

Original Use: City Hall


Designated City of Santa Barbara Landmark (4/11/2000). Designation includes that adjacent Pepper Tree.

Originally built in the 1874, the original City Hall was a brick structure which housed the city fire bell and was for a long time referred to as a cupola-topped brick box. Following the competition in 1919 for the county courthouse design, the community was moving towards realizing a Spanish enclave on the West Coast. Santa Barbara’s City Hall at this time was thought to be incongruous with this new vision and many called for a renovation of the formerly utilitarian building. George Washington Smith was brought in to redesign the space in the Mission Revival style. It was then the formerly brick exterior was covered in cement, and red tile roofs were added to the front façade. After the 1925 earthquake, the largely undamaged City Hall was a rallying point for the development of Santa Barbara’s creation of a “new Spain” in America as a safe and beautiful way of designing the city’s streetscape.

Significant as a City Landmark as per City Council findings (Resolution No. 00-024) by the following criteria:

A. Its character, interest or value as a significant part of the heritage of the City, the State or the Nation because of the building's connection with the Spanish-Midterranean architectural style movement and because of its connection with locally significant architect George Washington Smith;
C. Its identification with a person or persons (George Washington Smith) who significantly contributed to the culture and development of the City, the State, or the Nation;
D. Its exemplification of a particular architectural style (Spanish Colonial Revival) or way of life important to the City, the State, or the Nation;
F. Its identification as the creation, design, or work of a person or persons (George Washington Smith) whose effort significantly influenced the heritage of the City, the State, or the Nation;
G. Its embodiment of elements demonstrating outstanding attention to architectural design, detail, materials and craftsmanship;
I. Its unique location or singular characteristic representing an established and familiar visual feature of a neighborhood.

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