Introduction

The City of Orange is often called the "Plaza City," and indeed it is the only city in Orange County that was planned and built around a plaza. It was founded in 1871 as a real estate venture by two lawyers, Alfred Beck Chapman and Andrew Glassell. Like many cities located in the eastern and midwestern United States, Orange was subdivided into a grid system of streets that focused around a central square. The Old Towne Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997 and includes more that 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 acorn-shaped streetlights and approximately 53 different architectural styles. Victorian, Prairie, Craftsman, Bungalow, Spanish Colonial and Mediterranean styles, to name a few, may be found among the homes in Old Towne. The area has been used repeatedly as a film location because of its ability to capture the flavor of earlier time periods.
Tract Map