Santa Barbara Courthouse Design Sketch from 1919
(Image: Arts & Architecture, November 1919)
By Betsy J. Green
Back in February 1919, the city announced that it was holding a competition for the design of the new courthouse (the present building). This month, July 1919, the winner was announced – Edgar A. Mathews of San Francisco. Here’s his sketch for the courthouse.
Recognize it? No? Well, that’s because the design of the runner-up was the one that was actually built. There seemed to be a couple of reasons why Mathews’ design was not built. One was budgetary, and one may have involved a complaint about fairness from some of the people on the committee who judged the designs.
It was also mentioned that the courthouse was supposed to be a memorial to the young men from Santa Barbara County who lost their lives in the war, but none of the designs addressed that.