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721 E Cota St

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Designation Status: Designated City Landmark

Assessor Parcel Number: 031-110-004

Historic Name: Santa Barbara Junior High School

Constructed: 1932

Property Description:

The main building of Santa Barbara Junior High School is a highly-detailed depiction of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. Each elevation shows attention to ornamentation often found in Spanish-Moorish architecture. The one and two-story structure forms three sides of a quadrangle, with the easterly end of the front wing extending farther thatn the westerly end. The multi-purpose building construc5ed in 1963 forms part of what wold be the fourth side of the quadrangle. The 1937 field building or physical education building is to the northeast of the latter structure.

An elaborate 70-foot tower rises from the main entrance topped by a conical tile roof and a rounded terra cotta finial. The tile roofed building makes liberal use of ceramic tile in window reveals, lunettes, divisions between windows, at the entrances, and under balconies. Many sets of windows have turned wood balusters. The main entrance features carved stone ornamentation.

Architect: William H. Weeks

Architectural Style: Spanish Colonial Revival

Property Type: School

Original Use: Junior High School


Designated City of Santa Barbara Landmark (03/26/1985).

Following the 1925 earthquake, a school bond election was held in 1930 for construction of a new Junior High School. William H. Weeks, locally renowned for his designs of two other schools: Santa Barbara High and La Cumbre Junior High, was chosen to design the school in Spanish Colonial Revival style. In August 1932, a lavish dedication ceremony during Old Spanish Days Fiesta opened the new school with nearly 1,000 people in attendance.

Significant as a City Landmark as per City Council findings (Resolution No. 85-041) 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 the Junior High School is designed by W. Weeks, who also designed the SB High School and La Cumbre Junior High School, and thus contributed to the heritage of Santa Barbara;
C. Its identification with a person or persons (William Weeks) 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;
E. Its exemplification of the best remaining architectural type (Spanish Colonial Revival) in a neighborhood;
F. Its identification as the creation, design, or work of a person or persons (William Weeks) 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 via the elaborate 70-foot finial topped tower, the carved stone and wood ornamentation, copper gutters and downspouts, turned wood balusters, chimneys, and interior elements such as stenciled cielings and mural;
I. Its unique location or singular characteristic representing an established and familiar visual feature of a neighborhood.

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