Friday, October 25, 2013

Santa Ana, California

John and I have enjoyed exploring some of the little Californian towns which surround Anaheim.  Yesterday we drove to Santa Ana, Orange County's county seat.  The town began in 1869 when a man purchased 70 acres of Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, abbreviated the name and plotted out a townsite.  He persuaded Los Angeles-Santiago line to stop in Santa Ana and the town grew, especially so when the Sante
Fe Railroad later came into the town in 1887.  Two years later Orange County split off from Los Angeles and named Santa Ana as the county seat.  A granite and sandstone Romanesque style courthouse was built  in 1901 when Santa Ana was still a farm town.  The courthouse survived an earthquake in 1933.
The building was restored from 1983-1992.  Over the years it has been the scene of several important and far-reaching court cases.  It is a favorite movie location also, six of them to be exact- Catch Me If You Can with Leonardo DiCaprio was a recent one shot there.  Today the courthouse is the place to get your marriage license and ceremony if need be.  It houses other governmental offices as well as the Orange County History Center.  Santa Ana has preserved more of its architectural past than the rest of the county combined.  In the 36 blocks of its historic district are a variety of architectural styles.
The Victorian home above is now home to Citibank, pictured above.  Another interesting building which caught my eye is the Sartora Arts Building.  It has been the heart of the Artists Village area for years.
The 1928 building was the home of Daninger's Tea Room in the 1930s and 1940s.  The restaurant reportedly attracted many Hollywood celebrities.  Most fortunately, a lady saw me taking pictures of the building and directed me to a shop which had the Santa Ana Register.  In the current issue there is an article on the history of the building.  It has recently been in the news because a new owner now has keys to the building.

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