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WHERE IS IT?

Wednesday Where Is It
updated: Jun 22, 2011, 6:55 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

The goddess that looks out over the corner of Oak and Main adorns the arch window of the Bank of Italy building, this week’s “Wednesday Where is It.” Built during the oil boom of the 1920’s, the Bank of Italy reflects the popularity of the Beaux Arts style used during this time period. While some of the bank’s original design has been lost to renovation, you can still see the ancient roman images, designed in Italian Renaissance detail, that adorn the building inside and out. Today, the building is occupied by a clothing store, a day spa and a restaurant.

The discovery of oil and the subsequent economic and population growth no doubt prompted the need for a new bank on Main Street. In 1921, Shell Oil hit a major oil strike. By 1926, Shell Oil and other oil companies were producing thousands of barrels of oil per day along the Ventura Avenue corridor. The drilling resulted in workers, geologists and engineers and new businesses moving into the area. Ventura’s population grew exponentially during the 1920’s, expanding from 4,156 to 11,603.

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