On June 29th, 1925, Santa Barbara was rocked by an earthquake…
Minor temblors were recorded as early as 3:30 am on the 29th, and they continued for three hours. Then, at at 6:44 AM, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the city killing 13 people and destroying over 600 buildings.
The Wharf, Granada Theater and most homes survived in decent shape. However, much of the downtown region crumbled. Hotels collapsed, the Sheffield Dam cracked, and the Mission bell towers were wrecked, picture above. All in all, over $8 million of damage was done by the great quake of 1925.
PS: As noted in the History of the City, one of the catalysts for the architectural development of Santa Barbara was this earthquake which destroyed many commercial buildings in the business district, most of which were built of un-reinforced masonry.