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On this date in 1909, Santa Barbara’s Arlington Hotel burnt to the ground

On Aug 15, 1909, the first-class Arlington Hotel burnt to the ground.

The three-story, 90-room hotel was a jewel along Santa Barbara’s State Street, between Sola Street and Victoria Street. It played host to presidents, kings and queens.

But on a Sunday night, while most of the visitors were out at dinner, a fire broke out. It burned throughout the night, and at daybreak only the Arlington’s chimneys were standing.

Amazingly, no one was killed.

The Arlington Hotel was rebuilt, but in 1925, an earthquake brought it back down.

In 1931, another “Arlington” opened. This time it was a theater. It’s been 83 years since the Arlington Theater opened its doors and it’s still going strong.

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