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It's been called the most beautiful courthouse in the United States, for good reason. It's also one of the most elaborate. Located at 1100 Anacapa St, near State St., so it's quite close to the downtown area. A masterpiece of Spanish-Moorish architecture, it's not quite as old as it seems. It was completed in 1929, and features a red tile roof, arches, fountains and the large clock tower, "El Mirador," which provides visitors with a 365-degree view of the entire bay, which is magnificent on most days. Architect Charles Willard Moore called it the "grandest Spanish Colonial Revival structure ever built," a statement one would be hard-pressed to refute. It replaced a smaller Greek Revival courthouse at the same location, dating to about the last quarter of the nineteenth century, which was severely damaged by an earthquake in June, 1925. The new one is comprised of four buildings which encompass some 150,000 square feet, occupying an entire city block. One of its most famous features is the Mural Room, located on the second floor, just to the right of the elevator or staircase, which features elaborate paintings of some events surrounding the city's history.

The photo here was taken just after a rather heavy downpour. The large structure is open daily and is free, with tours held by the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Docent Council. The complex was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2005.

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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 78 N: 1188] (2102)
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