Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Hunt and Chambers, Architects (firm); Pool, J. Corbley, Architect (firm); Harold Coulson Chambers (architect); Myron Hubbard Hunt (architect); J. Corbley Pool (architect)

Dates: constructed 1913

4 stories

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1129 State Street
Downtown, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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The San Marcos Building was built on the southeast corner of State Street and Anapamu Street.

Overview

The Spanish Colonial Revival San Marcos Building was built in three phases: the initial rectangular block erected for local banker John S. Hawley, a second addition on Anapamu Street creating an L-shape, and, following the calamitous Santa Barbara Earthquake of 06/29/1925, the corner portion of the building was damaged badly enough to require demolition and rebuilding. The great revivalist architect, Myron Hunt (1868-1952), and his partner Harold Chambers (1885-1971) designed the new section of the building and its Spanish Baroque--Churrigueresque--ornamentation surrounding the main building entry. Hunt and Chambers also reduced the height of the building from four stories to two to make it less vulnerable to swaying.

Building Notes

Three people were killed in the San Marcos Building's collapse in 1925. Since 1914, the Sterling Drug Store had occupied the first floor storefront (1137 State Street) on the L-shaped building's main corner that collapsed. Fortunately, the earthquake hit at 6:44 a.m., before business hours. The pharmacy's owner, S.C. Pinkham (1870-1935) sold the business in 1928, shortly after the quake.

Alteration

Despite having a reinforced concrete structure in the 1913 and 1923 portions, the corner section still collapsed. The connections joining the 1913 and 1923 sections did not prove strong enough to withstand the shaking caused on the perpindicular portions.

Before the quake, all portions of the building had a single unified facade design. After, the architects differentiated the building into its three constiuent parts. The City of Santa Barbara Historic Landsmarks Commission stated: "The rectangular storefronts on Anapamu Street with glass tile transoms remained unchanged from their appearance before the earthquake. Although the San Marcos building was one unified structure, Hunt and Chambers created the illusion of three buildings fronting State Street by designing three separate and unique facades along State Street and the older portion on Anapamu. The older portions were differentiated from the 1926 construction because the roofline was slightly lower and Churrigueresque styling was absent." (See City of Santa Barbara Historic Landmarks Commission, Historic Landmarks Commission Landmarks Designation Staff Report: San Marcos Building, accessed 04/29/2016.)

Demolition

The San Marcos Building was severely damaged in the Santa Barbara Earthquake of 06/29/1925, with its corner portion torn down. The original building had four stories, but the top two stories of the 1913 and 1923 portions was reduced to two.

PCAD id: 5492