This property was the site for two locomotive roundhouses constructed by the Southern Pacific Railroad. The first stood between 1911 and 1925, when the June 25, 1929, earthquake severely damaged it. Miss Pearl Chase, of the Plans and Planting Committee, Community Arts Association, convinced the railroad to design the new building in the Spanish style for which Santa Barbara was becoming famous. The beautiful result resembled the bullring in Seville, Spain.
From 1926 to 1961 the roundhouse and engine turntable serviced the Southern Pacific's steam locomotives; by 1961 the Coast Route had converted to diesel power. The structure was then remodeled for warehouse use and the turntable was removed. In September, 1982, the roundhouse was demolished to make way for a resort hotel. The hotel's ground floor plaza symbolizes the historic roundhouse.