On July 24, the clock tower that sits above the Santa Barbara Courthouse reopened, showcasing a brand new elevator that visitors can now ride to the top.

The courthouse — constructed in 1926 — is home to a mural room, an expansive garden, and hundreds of weddings each year. Previously, access to the clock tower was unavailable to those with mobility difficulties due to the short-stopping elevator and stairs leading the rest of the way up to the observation deck.

“This is one of the most visited landmarks we send our 200,000 annual visitors to, and now it is accessible to all,” said Ken Oblinger from The Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce at a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week.

Federal stimulus dollars and The Americans with Disabilities Act funded the project. County General Services and Robert Ooley, County Architect, worked together to finish the project.

County Supervisor Salud Carbajal cut the ribbon with Bonnie Elliott, an Access Advocate and 30-year resident of Santa Barbara who was prevented from going to the top of the tower until the construction of the new elevator. The tower will open to the public this coming Wednesday.


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