The 1925 Santa Barbara Earthquake: The San Marcos Building

Dr. James Angle, a popular Santa Barbara dentist, arose early on the morning of Monday the 29th and drove to his downtown office at the San Marcos building on the corner of State and Anapamu Streets. He planned to travel to Los Angeles that day, but while in his office the earthquake struck. Half of the Anapamu Street annex of the San Marcos building, constructed of reinforced concrete, collapsed, trapping Dr. Angle, the engineer of the building, S. Mostiero, and a janitor, identified in a newspaper account as Mrs. Marcario Villamore, under a mass of twisted steel and concrete. William Mathers, who was sitting in his car beside the San Marcos building, was crushed to death by falling debris.

Rescuers began immediately to dig at the rubble of the San Marcos building in an attempt to save the three people trapped there. Mrs. Villamore was rescued with a broken leg seven hours later. Dr. Angle perished, although he survived to within half an hour of being found. Mostiero was also killed.

Although the San Marcos building was constructed of reinforced concrete--usually a construction method that stands up well to earthquakes--the L-shaped building was constructed in two sections that were not structurally tied together. Probably the different sections of the building battered against each other during the earthquake until parts of the sections collapsed where they joined.

The State Street section was demolished after the earthquake; the third story was removed from the Anapamu section and still stands today.


Aerial view of the collapsed San Marcos building (56 kb)
View #2 of the collapsed San Marcos building (37 kb)
View #3 of the collapsed San Marcos building (40 kb)

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