Following the earthquake in 1925, the far-sighted city government of Santa Barbara decided to devote the downtown area to Spanish-Moorish-Mediterranean architecture (and a few original landmarks like El Cuarto, from 1782, at the Presidio). One of the most stunning of these is the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, completed in 1929. El Paseo is a series of shady cobblestoned shopping lanes built in 1924, all leading to a sunny courtyard centered around a fountain. There’s nothing fossilized about downtown, however (in fact, it's one of the best Santa Barbara neighborhoods to visit). It’s home to shops, restaurants, coffee houses and Paseo Neuvo, a modern shopping mall built 1990 in such pleasing Spanish style that it manages to make even chain stores look more interesting.