In the days before tract homes, residential architecture showed great variety. Here are some broad categories; most had many variations and styles. Some homes combine elements from various styles, a reflection of the owner's tastes, or the builder's whims. Part of what gives these homes their charm is their individuality.
Settlement (Mostly Before 1910)
Simple in form and detail, these were some of the earliest homes in Orange. The smaller homes were often built with vertical board and batten walls. Sometimes there was a porch. Larger, two-story farmhouses might have a few Victorian details and clapboard siding. Most originally stood alone among orchards and fields.
Victorian (Popular, 1870-1900)
for their picturesque woodwork, steep roof lines, and ornate details,
several Victorian styles were popular here including Eastlake, with its
tall, vertical lines, and especially the Queen Anne, with its many
decorative elements. Victorians demonstrated the increasing prosperity
of the community. Many were large, but the style could also be adapted
to smaller cottages.
Classical Revival (Most Popular, 1900-1910)
With their flowing lines, and columns borrowed from ancient Greek
architecture, these homes became popular with the start of the new
century. Many in Orange can be found on corners, with their curved
porches wrapping around two sides. But they were soon passed in
popularity by the Bungalow.
Bungalow (Most Popular, 1910-1920)
The first true California style, Bungalows grew out of the Arts and
Crafts movement of the early 20th Century. The emphasis was on natural
materials, simple woodwork, and sometimes stone pillars or porches. Most
featured horizontal lines, and porches across the front. Inside was
more woodwork, with built-in cabinets and hutches. Most were smaller,
middle class homes. Plans, and even pre-cut kits could be bought through
mail order houses such as Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward.
Craftsman (Popular in the 1920s & 1930s)
This style shares many of the naturalistic qualities of the Bungalows,
but were larger, usually two stories, with expansive eaves and other
details. Sometimes shingles replaced clapboards. They also displayed
more individuality; there were no kits for Craftsmen homes.
Mediterranean (Popular in the 1920s & 1930s)
Another style first popularized in California, the various
Mediterranean styles took their inspiration from the state's Spanish and
Mexican past. They could range from simple stucco homes accented with a
little tile, to grand hillside mansions with glazed brickwork and
arches. Some variations were briefly popular in the 1920s, include the
flat-roofed Pueblo style, and the Prairie style, with its horizontal
eaves. The Mediterranean style survives today in a modern form in the
stucco and tile of many tract homes.
Period Revivals (Most Popular in the 1920s)
Along with Mediterraneans, a variety of Old World and colonial styles
became popular here after World War I. These included Colonial Revival,
English Tudor, Cotswald Cottage, Dutch Revival, French Provincial, and
whimsical storybook cottages.
Streamline Moderne (Most Popular in the 1930s)
This sleek, horizontal style, with its curved lines and glass brick,
was never very popular in Orange, and only two examples remain - one
residential, and one commercial.
Ranch Style (Most Popular in the 1950s)
Some of the last custom-built homes in Orange (before mass-produced
tracts came to dominate the area) were built in this long, low, rustic
style, which abandoned stucco for a return to natural woodwork -
sometimes even a board and batten look.