In 1925, during the earthquake mentioned in the Mission Santa Bárbara post, the original 1872 Santa Barbara courthouse was damaged. A year later, the existing courthouse was build around the sandstone foundations of the first.
As you walk towards the building from downtown Santa Barbara, you’ll see the Spirit of the Ocean statue and a plea for donations. The fountain is beyond repair after attempts to restore the 1929 feature had the opposite effect.
“After years of wear, tear, and weathering, the fountain in front of the historic Santa Barbara Courthouse, “The Spirit of the Ocean,” is being replaced with an exact replica over the course of the next nine months.
The fountain, which was originally built in 1929 by Ettore Cadorin — an Italian sent by his country’s government to the U.S. as an art envoy — will be chiseled from five blocks of sandstone donated from Law and Order and Miami Vice producer Dick Wolf’s Slippery Rock Ranch in Santa Ynez. The blocks were delivered to the courthouse on Monday.”1
Inside the courthouse you’ll find lovely arches, artwork, furniture and tiles.