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 A.S. UCSB Living History Project blog has a post from 2012 with some more photos, although the photos are mostly taken from the web and unattributed. Two of them are from Flickr: lions and lambs from 1981, the bluffs and a horse from 1987.

The ancient Egyptian Isla Vistans

November 2011, photo by Britta Gustafson (CC BY-SA)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"

November 2011, photo by Britta Gustafson (CC BY-SA)This whale mural by a professional artist (Joyce Ortnerwas 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.

The IV Parks website has the sunflower faces thing listed as a wall they would like an artist to repaint, as part of their Mural Project.

Closer view, showing the islands painted in the distance.

View of the painted sunset matching the real sunset.

Pelican on the side of the Sweet Alley sign.




At the old Super Cucas

October 2011, photo by Britta Gustafson (CC BY-SA)

The small Super Cucas building on Embarcadero del Norte had an old-fashioned Mexican scene painted on a wall (more context). The building was torn down in 2011 to build the LOOP and Icon complex.

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.





Ocean scene

November 2009, photo by Britta Gustafson (CC BY-SA)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.

This education building was behind the Parking Lot House, and both were torn down in 2012 to build the Campus 880 housing complex.

Another ocean scene

December 2009, photo by Britta Gustafson (CC BY-SA)This small ocean scene with a pool ball sun was on the side of the Isla Vista Surf Company. The building was remodeled in 2012 before Chase Bank moved in, and the mural disappeared.

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

February 2009, photo by Britta Gustafson (CC BY-SA)

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.

Whale surfer...

December 2009, photo by Britta Gustafson (CC BY-SA)The Jesus Burgers house on Del Playa used to have this "New Modes of Trannys-sportation" mural on the front wall, wrapping around its corner. This wall now has a new mural, with an ocean/UCSB scene.

January 2015, photo by Britta Gustafson (CC BY-SA)

...and half of the Japanese-style tree

December 2011, by Britta Gustafson (CC BY-SA)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

May 2015, by Britta Gustafson (CC BY-SA)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.

By Mister Goleta

Quizzical parrot

April 2010, by Britta Gustafson (CC BY-SA)This parrot on Sabado Tarde didn't last for very long, but it's a nice example of the pop-up street art that happens around IV.

Marley House

March 2005, by Dos (twoinstincts)The Marley House mural was a popular and beloved landmark on Del Playa until the landlord painted over the mural in December 2009.

Former Marley House in January 2015, by Britta Gustafson (CC BY-SA)

Chumash style painting

February 2011, by Jay Galvin (CC BY)

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.

Clinic building guy

From the A.S. UCSB Living History Project, cited as by Randy Rosenthal.In the 1970s, the south end of the Isla Vista Service 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.