Ventura County's Support-Local Program

Ventura City Hall – History And Dinner

It’s Ventura City Hall’s 100th anniversary. Learn about its history and architecture and join us there at our Dinner At The City event on July 18th.

Sculpture of Father Junipero Serra in front of Ventura City Hall

Sculpture of Father Junipero Serra in front of Ventura City Hall

Ventura County Courthouse’s historic architecture

In 1911, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Ventura County Courthouse’s (now Ventura’s City Hall) “Roman Doric Order” design would be “one of the most imposing public structures in California, and a credit to the seat of government of the prosperous lima bean section.” Designed in 1910 by world-renowned architect Albert C. Martin and built in 1912 at a cost of $225,000, the courthouse was dedicated in July 1913. It is an outstanding example of neo-classical architecture manifested in the Beaux-Arts style, which was prevalent in public projects in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. The building is rich in details including a terra cotta facade with scrolls, floral designs, and whimsical faces of Franciscan padres, the order that founded the city of Ventura in 1782. Granite walkways take you through this amazing building. The original central courtroom, now the City Council chambers, features dark mahogany woodwork, a stained-glass skylight and beautiful arched windows each with views downtown to the ocean.

The courthouse becomes Ventura City Hall

In 1968, the courthouse was condemned as an earthquake risk, and could have been torn down but the city bought the structure and worked to renovate it, turning it into Ventura’s City Hall. The Los Angeles Times again wrote about the landmark structure: “Probably no local structure is more visually and symbolically dramatic, or as steeped in local legend. Perched like a lordly, lavish manor at the juncture of California and Poli streets, it overlooks the old town and the blue Pacific beyond – a constant reminder of the past.

A Historic Landmark

The courthouse is registered as California Historical Landmark #847 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NPS-71000211). Added to the National Register in August 1971, it was only the second building in Ventura County to receive the designation.

dinner-at-the-cityDinner At The City

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the dedication of Ventura’s City Hall. Totally Local VC will be helping in the celebration with our second dinner in the Totally Local VC Dinner At The… series, Dinner At The City, on July 18, 2013 at the historic Ventura City Hall. This event will sell out and is not to be missed. Get your tickets on the Totally Local VC website or sent us an email at

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Learn more about author Kat Merrick

Kat Merrick

About the author

Kat Merrick made her mark in the apparel world as an innovative leader and founder of Surf Chick Inc. With over 25 years of extensive experience managing worldwide capacity apparel facilities, companies and product, her superior leadership skills, practiced in directing cross-functional global teams to design, brand, source develop and marketing, won her world-wide recognition and awards. She is considered an expert in the areas of trend studies, brand building and marketing. At 23 years old she opened her first successful retail business in Ventura County, Since then, Kat has owned and operated several very successful retail and wholesale operations and assisted numerous multi-category small businesses to achieve success. Highly respected by many local small business owners, growers, artists and locals, she has been tagged as "the Shop Local girl". Kat's extensive travels, strong business knowledge and desire to make a positive impact locally helped inspire her to create Totally Local VC. A Ventura County resident since 1978, single mother of two and long-standing advocate for support of local small business and all that is Ventura, founder and developer of Totally Local VC, Kat brings her passion for our community to all she does. Her writings, posts and blog reflect her love of family, friends and community and desire to help.


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  1. Don’t forget the ghost stories.

  2. YUMMY!

  3. Ask RVL he knows a little about a lot when it comes to history of this fair town

  4. Mr Senate and a few others will be taking the guests on a very special tour of City Hall as part of the Totally Local VC Dinner At The City event. It will be a great night of conversation about our community, our history and we are sure a few ghost stories will be thrown in as well.

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