The Santa Barbara Courthouse is one of Santa Barbara’s most beautiful and recognizable sights. The Courthouse is also one of Santa Barbara’s most photographed landmarks, most frequented by tourists, and most vital to its City’s functions, heritage and history. What may come as a surprise to the community is the deterioration that has occurred to the building over the past eight decades. During the preparation of state and national landmark applications, extensive damage was discovered that would require major restoration and preservation.
- The County of Santa Barbara focuses solely on general maintenance of the Courthouse, and does not have the resources to restore and repair architectural features that have deteriorated over time. As a result, the Courthouse Legacy Foundation (CLF) was established in 2004. Their goal is to educate and involve the community in fundraising to address preservation and conservation needs of the courthouse now and in the future.
- Over the past 3 years the Courthouse Legacy Foundation board has been working to raise the needed $600,000 to replace the crumbling Spirit of the Ocean Fountain. The Courthouse Legacy Foundation is grateful for the support of the community with gifts from foundations and individuals. Recently the HIND FOUNDATION has generously donated $133,000 to complete the primary fundraising for this project. The HIND FOUNDATION established by Greg and Jane Hind provides funding in the San Luis Obispo and Southern California area for preservation of cultural heritage with emphasis in music and visual arts, plants, and wildlife conservation, and historical restoration projects.
- For almost 80 years, the Santa Barbara Courthouse has been the home of local government and a place of civic pride and celebration. While it appears beautiful from a distance, a closer look will reveal there is much work to be done at the Santa Barbara Courthouse, including crumbling sandstone and cracking tiles, to brittle murals and fading decorative painted surfaces.