Elizabeth Bard Memorial Hospital Building
Perched on a prominent hillside in downtown Ventura, just two blocks east of City Hall, the Elizabeth Bard Memorial Hospital building is both an important Ventura landmark and an excellent example of the Mission Revival style.
In 1983, the building’s new owners undertook an extensive renovation that upgraded the building’s electrical and plumbing systems. They also incorporated a new addition that is compatible with the original building’s historic fabric. Today, the complex houses medical offices. The Conservancy holds an easement protecting the hospital building’s façade.
Designed by local builder Selwyn Lock Shaw, the 10,000-square-foot hospital was commissioned by Dr. Cephas Bard and financed by his brother Thomas, a United States Senator. Cephas Bard was Ventura’s first doctor and a beloved community leader. Named in honor of the Bard brothers’ mother, Elizabeth, the hospital is clad in stucco and features a red tile roof, a domed bell tower, scalloped gables, and arched loggias. These characteristics evoked the old Spanish missions, which became a source of architectural inspiration at the turn of the twentieth century.
Inside, the hospital originally featured the most up-to-date sanitation methods, including antiseptic tiling, sterilizing basins, and an absence of corners to facilitate cleaning. Sadly, the hospital’s founder also became its first patient: Cephas Bard passed away at the facility four months after it opened in 1902.