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Old Towne Information

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.

Historic Resource Inventory

A current count of resources in the City of Orange.

National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) Listed Districts

Old Towne Orange Historic District (Est. 1997) - Nomination Form and Nomination Photos

Plaza Historic District (Est. 1982) - Nomination Form and Nomination Photos

Architectural Styles in Old Towne Orange

Old Towne Design Standards

The Planning Division is in the process of updating the Old Towne Design Standards (OTDS). The Planning Division will be conducting public workshops in fall 2016 to present the revisions to the Design Standards and get feedback from the public. Workshop announcements will be posted on the City website, and mailed to interested parties. For additional information about the Old Towne Design Standards Update, please contact Marissa Moshier, Historic Preservation Planner, or Anna Pehoushek, Assistant Community Development Director, at (714) 744-7220, mmoshier@cityoforange.org or apehoushek@cityoforange.org.

Old Towne Design Standards - Complete

Residential Quadrants

Commercial Districts

Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation

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.htmMills

Mills Act Information

Mills Act Pamphlet

Highlights and Benefits

Mills Act Application

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 is 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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