Edgar A. Mathews (b. United States, 1866-1946)Winning Design for the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, 1919In David Gebhard, Santa Barbara: The Creation of a New Spain, 1982, pages 56-57
Santa Barbara County officials held a competition for the design of a new courthouse that was to be a World War I memorial and house offices for the county and city governments. Mathews’s Spanish Baroque design won first prize. His design was similar to the buildings at the recent and very popular 1915 Panama-California Exposition in San Diego.
In 1925, J. Wilmer Hershey sketched a proposal for a new courthouse that recalled the informal character of Andalusian Spain. County officials preferred this style over the Spanish Baroque. The County finally commissioned the architectural firm of William Mooser and Company, which had come in second place in the competition, to design and build the new courthouse. Mooser used Hershey’s sketch for the building as the basis for a new design that was completed in 1929 and stands today.
Eisner-Stewart and Associates, Planning Consultants General Plan for the City of Santa Barbara 1964, pages 82-83
By the 1960s, business had shifted away from the city of Santa Barbara to the developing suburbs of Goleta Valley. The city hired planners to assess business growth and suggest redevelopment schemes. A general plan was produced in 1964 that advocated maintaining and enhancing Santa Barbara’s Spanish architectural identity.
Henry Lenny (b. Mexico)Stearns Wharf Fountain Proposal, circa 1982Reprographic; printed 2013Henry Lenny drawings, AD&A Museum
This design was part of a scheme aimed at beautifying the city by building fountains along State Street. When the fountain was built in 1985, however, the central sculpture became a dolphin.