AKA: First Baptist Church, Ventura, CA; Ventura Center for Spiritual Living, Ventura, CA

Structure Type: built works - religious structures - churches

Designers: Stacy-Judd, Robert, Architect (firm); Robert Benjamin Stacy-Judd (architect)

Dates: constructed 1925-1926

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101 Laurel Street
Ventura, CA 93001

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The building had attention-grabbing Mayan Revival features, an example of exotic revivalism desired by some during the intense building boom going on in the 1920s. While the boom lasted, architect Robert Stacy-Judd (1884-1975) received many commissions for Mayan Revival buildings from clients who wanted something different.

Building History

Founded in 1922, the 1st Baptist Congregation of Ventura, CA, first met in rented locations for services, at the De Leon Hotel (1922-1923), Ventura City Hall (1923-1924) and the Lagomarsino Opera House (1924-1926), before raising funds in 1923-1924 to buy a parcel of land on the southwestern corner of Laurel and Santa Clara Streets. Construction on this lot occurred in 1925 and 1926, The National Register of Historic Places nomination form said of this first building: "Known as the "Sunday school building," it was plain and rectangular, and occupied only a portion of their property. Services were held on the main floor, which also housed rooms for Sunday school classes; a large basement contained the social hall, kitchen, and additional Sunday school rooms." (See National Park Service,"National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 1st Baptist Church of Ventura," accessed 03/31/2015.) A new pastor, Reverend J.W. Jenkins, (the fourth to serve the group over a five-year span), arrived in Ventura to preside over the congregation in 06/1928. By 07/1928, the Board of Deacons of the 1st Baptist Church stated their intention to build a new auditorium, and had secured the services of the Hollywood-based architect Robert Stacy-Judd, who by then had become a well-publicized promoter of the Mayan Revival Style. Stacy-Judd produced a design published in the local newspaper, the Ojai, on 07/1928. After period of time to raise funds, construction of the concrete hall occurred during 1931 and 1932, the Depression's early years. The Stacy-Judd addition was finished in 1932, and the congregation continued to hold services there until 05/24/1959; a month later, the Ventura County Religious Science Church purchased the property. This organization has maintained the Stacy-Judd Building to the present.


Stacy-Judd undertook alterations to the 1st Baptist Church in 1932. A local artist, Jason Herron, funded needed renovations in the 1980s.

City of Buenaventura Landmarks, Districts and Points of Interest (1975-12-01): 17

National Register of Historic Places (2009-07-03): 09000466 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 19530