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The Historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse

Historic Courthouse

The Courthouse has been called the most beautiful government building in America. 

Courthouse fountain

Designed by William Mooser III, the Spanish-Moorish style building was completed in 1929, after the 1925 earthquake ruined much of the city. It occupies a square block in downtown Santa Barbara.  Gardens and lawns surround this working courthouse.  Civic events, performances and numerous weddings are held on the attractively landscapedSunken Garden where the 1872 courthouse once stood. For information regarding use of the Sunken Garden for wedding ceremonies or other events please contact the Santa Barbara County Parks Department at this link. Marriage License information can be found at the County Clerk Recorder's office.

Spiral staircase

Visitors can ride an elevator to the 85-foot "El Mirador" clock tower for unforgettable views of the city, coast and mountains. Other attractions include the Mural Room, "Spirit of the Ocean" fountain, noteworthy architecture and ornate tile work throughout the building.

An information booth is located in the lobby near the main archway. The booth is open 8:30am to 4:30pm weekdays and 10am to 4:30pm on weekends. Free docent tours are conducted of the historic Santa Barbara Courthouse located at 1100 Anacapa Street at 10:30am and 2:00pm Monday through Friday. Tours on Saturday and Sunday at 2:00pm.

Information on Courthouse restoration can be found on the Courthouse Legacy Foundation's website.

Mural room

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