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Casa Sirena of Oxnard, California – the Seaside Resort frozen in time

3 min read

Constructed in 1972, Casa Sirena was the brainchild of local hotel magnate Martin V. “Bud” Smith.
He was Oxnard’s visionary responsible for developing much of the area from the 1960s through the 1990s, from harbor hotels, restaurants and apartments to the high-rise towers, as well as the midcentury roadside attraction, The Wagon Wheel Motel (demolished in 2011).
Actually, by 1995, he had over 200 properties between Santa Maria and Calabasas worth more than $150 million. He passed away in 2001, and he was known to have entertained many happy guests on his yacht he named the “Dry Martini”.

Located in the heart of Channel Islands Harbor, the seaside resort Casa Sirena once boasted 274 rooms, including a spacious lobby, pool, hot tub, and countless other amenities.
A couple of years later, in 1976, due to the popularity of the resort a 90-room annex was completed next door to accommodate its seasonal crowds.
In 2006, the complex was redeveloped, and its annex was rebranded as a Hampton Inn that remains in operation to this day.
The rest of the resort property was deemed non-operational in 2009 and, after remaining a popular tourist destination for nearly 40 years, Casa Sirena permanently closed its doors soon thereafter.

Today great blue herons guard over the old Casa Sirena, and their cackles and calls fill the eerily quiet air while this deserted urban jungle tells stories of better times.
Many of the resort’s interior spaces appear literally frozen in time, with several tables and toppled armoires while other spaces have taken on a new life of their own, with vibrant graffiti and plant life. In a conference room, ceiling tiles lie broken on the floor with chairs and mini-fridges scattered about.
With sirena meaning “siren” or “mermaid” in Spanish and also in Italian, several concrete sculptures also remain scattered throughout the property, including a fountain with a slender mermaid holding up bowl of water to the sky, now dry and lifeless at the entrance to the former restaurant.

The Lobster Trap restaurant also sits abandoned with tablecloths still carefully laid across each table, full salt and pepper shakers and a bottle of Tabasco poised in the center, waiting for that shake that probably will never come. It looks as if everyone had left in a hurry and never came back, with chairs scattered about and some old festive decorations still hanging from the chandeliers in one of the event rooms.
It closed a month after the hotel.

Images from web – Google Research