In 2012, the painted decoration of the Mural Room of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, Santa Barbara, CA was examined by Debra May and Rachel Burch under contract to Architectural Resources Group, Inc. of San Francisco, California, as part of an Historic Structure Report for the Santa Barbara Courthouse Legacy Foundation.


The scope of work included comprehensive examination and condition assessment of the murals by John Sayre Groesbeck of the Mural Room, the decorative painted ceiling by Giovanni Battista Smeraldi, the painted leather entrance doors of the Mural Room, and the painting “The Landing of Cabrillo” by John Sayre Groesbeck. The resulting report was comprised of text, photographs, and schematic graphic documentation of conditions noted, with recommendations for conservation work to be done.


In 2014, we were contracted by the Courthouse Legacy Foundation to prepare a Condition Report and Treatment Recommendations to serve as specifications for the Request for Proposals for Conservation Treatment of the Mural Room. Samples were taken for paint analysis on the murals and ceiling.




Mural: Dan Sayre Groesbeck, 1929; Oil and metal leaf on fabric; ca. 6700 sq. ft.
Ceiling: Giovanni Smeraldi, 1929; oil, distemper, and metal leaf on plaster, ca. 5,000 sq. ft.


Architectural Resources Group, Inc., San Francisco, CA (2012); Santa Barbara Courthouse Legacy Foundation, Santa Barbara, CA (2014)