Isla Vista has had many wonderful murals lost to building redevelopment and renovation, especially in the past few years of heavy new construction in IV. Here are some of these lost murals, along with a few murals that got repainted for other reasons (graffiti, changing fashions, etc.). This article is incomplete - you can add more murals that have been lost, and add more detail about what happened to them.
The ancient Egyptian Isla Vistans
This painting was on Seville Road, in the parking lot of the building that held storage units and band studios - which had its own great history starting in 1980, incubating several generations of IV bands.
It was originally painted for the Isla Vista Surf Company building, then salvaged and moved to this parking lot in the 1990s.
The painting was lost when a high-end mixed-use student housing development (Icon Gardens) was built here in 2013.
Before the old building was torn down, an IV resident asked the pre-leasing office what would happen to the painting, and the leasing person said he had no idea. It probably got thrown out.
The mural has been featured on an album cover by at least one local band.
"Humpback Whale and Baby"
This whale mural by a professional artist (Joyce Ortner) was mysteriously repainted with a beach scene in early 2012, which later had sunflower faces added to it (see 955 Embarcadero Del Mar for photos of the revisions). It was on Seville, across the street from the Isla Vista Food Coop.
At the old Super Cucas
There's a video of this building being demolished.
The building had been the "site of Isla Vista’s first restaurant, Nebi's Coffee Shop", which opened in about 1961.
On Camino del Sur, next to the United Methodist Church, there was a small education building that had been the location of the Isla Vista Children's Center from 1971 to 2004 (part of the Isla Vista Youth Projects). It had a nice ocean scene painted on an interior wall, visible if you walked up to the building.
Another ocean scene
The UCSB and Isla Vista Walking Tour says this location "was for many years the Campus Cue, a pool hall and central gathering spot. Locally made tiles from circa 1970 outside and to the east depict numerous counterculture images, including the Isla Vista Tree."
Woodstock's pizza moon
Woodstock's used to have a great mural in the theme of "when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie". The mural disappeared after the building facade got renovated in 2012.
Closer view of the mural, including a signature indicating it was painted in 1982.
...and half of the Japanese-style tree
These two apartment buildings on Del Playa also used to have a matching tree mural (as seen a little more clearly in this photo from 2005; by 2010 a tree was mostly hiding it). The tree on the left side has been painted over. Apparently a new apartment rental company bought the building in the past couple years and decided that they didn't like the mural.
The bluffs and a horse
This mural was originally an IV bluffs scene with a horse at right, as seen in this photo from 1987. The remains of the painting are on the hidden left side of 6565 Trigo, where Isla Vista Screen Printing is today. You can see the part on the left by going around to the back parking lot at 6563 Trigo, the apartment building that hid most of the mural. You can also see a little more of the mural by looking from the front into the gap between the buildings.
The Marley House mural was a popular and beloved landmark on Del Playa until the landlord painted over the mural in December 2009.
Chumash style painting
In 1994, local artist Richard McLaughlin (an alumnus of the College of Creative Studies at UCSB) painted this mural on the north side of Anisq'Oyo' Park. The mural includes images similar to the historic art at Chumash Painted Cave in the nearby Santa Ynez Mountains. This mural is in the Santa Barbara Arts Commission's list of public art.
Unfortunately the mural is in bad shape now, with sections painted over because of graffiti. It's on the IVRPD'slist of mural locations suitable for repainting. You can see some of what it originally looked like by going toMcLaughlin's gallery of work, clicking the arrow on the right, and selecting the two yellowy thumbnails at center left.
In the 1970s, the south end of the Isla Vista Service Center/Isla Vista People's Center/Open Door Medical Clinic building had "a beautiful mural there of a freaky looking Uncle Sam smoking a big joint" (as described in 2006 here) / a "freak smoking a joint" (as described in 1989 here). It was a local landmark.
The building also had a painting with a directory of the services inside it.
The apartment building at 6653 Del Playa used to be called the Dolphin House, because it had a mural in the arch with several dolphins, a crab, and other sea life. This has been replaced by a mural of a woman wearing a shirt that says "Ganja baby".
Island View on El Embarcadero
The apartment building at 1020 El Embarcadero Rd used to have a mural with a painting of an island-view building with arches. The Koto Group became the property management company for the building, and they repainted it in their standard grey-green color scheme.