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Old Towne Historic District

The Old Towne Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997 and includes more than 1,300 homes and other buildings. It is approximately one square mile in size, making it the largest National Register district in California. The district provides a feeling for life in Orange from 1888 to 1940, showcasing over 50 different architectural styles. The complete stock of buildings which are a part of the Old Towne community is complemented by the churches, schools, old Santa Fe Depot, Post Office, packing houses, industrial buildings, clubhouses, and parks which still remain in active use since their establishment in the early part of the century.

To build upon the documentation of property in the Old Towne Orange National Register District nomination, the City surveyed all pre-1940 buildings in 1982 (updated in 1992) and established expanded Local Historic District boundaries that include properties on the periphery of the National Register District in recognition of the fact that while these areas may not meet the National Park Service criteria for National Register designation, they bear a relationship to the National Register District and remain special areas of historic importance in Orange that warrant preservation and conservation.

Old Towne Design Standards

Old Towne Design Standards - Complete

Residential Quadrants

Commercial Districts

Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation


Mills Act Information

Mills Act Pamphlet

Highlights and Benefits

Mills Act Contract


Architectural Styles in Old Towne Orange



Preservation Tax Incentives for Historic Buildings

Under selected circumstances, expenses associated with the rehabilitation of historic properties may be taken as a tax deduction.

Tax Incentive Information and Eligibility is available at http://www.nps.gov/history/hps/tps/tax/index.htm

Building Preservation Resources

A number of technical guides have been developed by The National Park Service to educate the public about proper approaches to preserving, rehabilitating and restoring historic buildings. These Preservation Briefs cover a wide range of topics including:

  • Exterior building additions
  • Cleaning methods for building exteriors
  • Siding treatments for historic wood frame buildings
  • Wooden window maintenance
  • Exterior paint problems
  • Historic storefront rehabilitation
  • Masonry maintenance practices
  • Use of substitute materials

A number of Preservation Briefs are available on-line, while others can be ordered directly from the National Park Service.

Preservation Briefs information available at http://www.nps.gov/history/hps/tps

Other Resources

South Central Coastal Information Center (SCCIC)-Referral List for Historical Resources Consultants

Secretary of Interior-Professional Consultant Qualification Standards

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