Ventura County Courthouse (now San Buenaventura City Hall) on National Register of Historic Places

Ventura City Hall (aka San Buenaventura City Hall) was originally built as the Ventura County Courthouse in 1912. Located at 501 Poli Street on a hill overlooking the City of Ventura and the Pacific Ocean, it has a terra cotta exterior, copper sheathed dome and Italian marble foyer.

The Courthouse was in use until 1969, when it was deemed to be an earthquake risk. However, the City of Ventura purchased the building from the county and renovated and made structural improvements to it. The building has functioned as Ventura City Hall since 1974.

It was designated State of California Landmark No. 847 in December 1970 and named to the National Register of Historic Places in August 1971.

 Ventura County Court House photo dated February 1971 (Photo Credit: City of Ventura).

Ventura County Court House photo dated February 1971 (Photo Credit: City of Ventura).

The original architect of the Courthouse was Albert C. Martin, who also designed Grauman's Chinese Theater (now TLC Chinese Theatre) in Hollywood.

According to the City's website, the 200-foot frontage by 135 foot depth annex was completed in 1932, after five years of work supervised by architect Harold Burkett. Between the first and second floor windows of City Hall are 24 faces, each depicting whimsical friars' faces which serve as a historical reminder that the City of San Buenaventura was one of the nine original Mission towns founded by Father Junipero Serra and Franciscan friars in 1782.

According to the City's website, significant restoration to the building's terra cotta exterior took place in 1987-88 and 2004-5. In 1987-88, it took 16 months of steam cleaning to restore 3,600 terra cotta tiles on City Hall West, including replacing 959 damaged tiles. In 2005, the complex's entire façade was restored, repairing 10,000 blocks by sanding and repainting, replacing 100 damaged blocks and installing a water repellant over the walls and joints.

The end result is that this is one beautiful, can't miss, historic building in Ventura County. More on Ventura City Hall at www.cityofventura.ca.gov/1098/Ventura-City-Hall.

 One of the 24 friars' faces on the building taken February 1971 (Photo Credit: City of Ventura).

One of the 24 friars' faces on the building taken February 1971 (Photo Credit: City of Ventura).