“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ojai in Ventura County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

The History of Libbey Bowl

Libbey Bowl Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Baker, May 17, 2018
1. Libbey Bowl Marker
The original Bowl was built in Edward Drummond Libbey's Civic Center Park in phases from 1952 to 1957 by a community effort led by the Ojai Music Festival. The shell was designed by architects Austen Pierpont of Ojai and Roy C. Wilson of Santa Paula. Originally known as "Civic Center Bowl,” and "Festival Bowl," among other names, it became known as "Libbey Bowl” in the 1980s after Civic Center Park was given to the City of Ojai and renamed Libbey Park.

Inaugurated by Aaron Copland at the 1957 Ojai Music Festival, Libbey Bowl has hosted several of the world's most influential artists. In addition to serving as the home of the internationally acclaimed Ojai Music Festival, Libbey Bowl has housed important community and cultural events including the Storytelling Festival, Illusions Theater, Fourth of July Celebration, Memorial Day Celebration, Mexican Fiesta, and many others.

By 2008, Libbey Bowl had suffered from over 50 years of wood rot, termite damage and heavy use. These damages proved irreparable and the Bowl was in danger of being condemned. In the fall of 2008, the City of Ojai and the Ojai Music
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Festival began working together to build a new Libbey Bowl, Ojai architect David Bury was hired to create a design that evoked the aesthetics, intimacy, and harmony with nature that characterized the original Bowl, as well as to make critical design improvements backstage and for audiences. The Ojai Music Festival, with support from the Ojai Valley Service Foundation, raised over $3 million from its patrons, the Ojai community and donors beyond, to partner with the City of Ojai in building the new Libbey Bowl.

On June 4, 2011 Dawn Upshaw, eighth blackbird, Claudio Ragazzi, Octavio Brunetti, and Michael Ward-Bergeman inaugurated the new Libbey Bowl, joined by over 100 of Ojai's own musicians on June 5, 2011 for a free community Day of Music, produced by the Ojai Music Festival.
Erected by City of Ojai, Ojai Music Festival, and Ojai Valley Service Foundation. (Marker Number 27.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EntertainmentParks & Recreational Areas. In addition, it is included in the Ventura County Historical Landmarks series list. A significant historical date for this entry is June 4, 2011.
Location. 34° 26.785′ N, 119° 14.729′ W. Marker is in Ojai, California, in Ventura County. Marker can be reached from Signal Street south
Libbey Bowl Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Baker, May 17, 2018
2. Libbey Bowl Marker
of Ojai Avenue. Located in Libbey Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 210 S Signal St, Ojai CA 93023, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ojai City Jail (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ojai Post Office Tower and Portico (about 500 feet away); The Ojai Arcade (about 600 feet away); Matilija Hot Springs (approx. 4.2 miles away); Oil Well Ojai No. 6 (approx. 7.3 miles away); Santa Gertrudis Asistencia (approx. 7.4 miles away); San Buenaventura Mission Aqueduct (approx. 7.7 miles away); Rancho Cańada Larga (approx. 7.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ojai.
Regarding The History of Libbey Bowl.
Ventura County Historical Landmark statement of significance:
Landmark No. 27 - Libbey Park Bowl Sycamore Tree.
Over 200 years old. Designated June 1975.
Location: 650 feet south of the post office at Ojai Avenue and Signal Street, Ojai.
Chumash Indians were said to have bent the sapling tree to mark the beginning of an important trail or a fine camping spot. The top rooted to form an arch which was known to the Chumash as the Peace Tree or Marriage Tree. An article by George T. Channing of Ojai, 1953, says, "Over 120 years ago the Indians called a peace conclave around the tree and agreed never
Libbey Bowl image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Baker, May 17, 2018
3. Libbey Bowl
to battle in the valley of The Ojai....As a marriage tree, the Indians believe that two lovers walking together through the arch are united by the Great Spirit...".
Sycamore Tree image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Baker
4. Sycamore Tree
Credits. This page was last revised on October 24, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 8, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 659 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 8, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California.   4. submitted on October 22, 2021, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 24, 2024