The Old Orange County Courthouse
The Old Orange County Courthouse, at one point also known as the Santa Ana County Courthouse, is a Romanesque Revival building that was opened in September 1901 and is located in Santa Ana's Historic Downtown District on Civic Center and Broadway streets. The Old Orange County Courthouse is officially recognized as California Historical Landmark No. 837 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The city of Santa Ana was established in 1869 by William Spurgeon on 74.27 acres (300,600 m2) of land purchased from the old Spanish land grant, Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. Orange County, California, was formed in 1889 by William Spurgeon and James McFadden and Santa Ana was chosen as the county seat of government because of its larger growth as a town over surrounding towns namely Orange.
The courthouse now stands as a museum and has been, used as a favorite location for different movies and television shows. It features as the exterior of Briarcliff Manor in American Horror Story: Asylum.
Howe-Waffle House and Medical Museum
Howe-Waffle House and Medical Museum is an 1889 Queen Anne style home in Santa Ana, California. It was the home of Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle, one of the first female physicians in Orange County, California, until her death in 1924.
Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle was one of the first female physicians in Orange County, California. Her thirty-eight years of practice started in 1886 after she graduated from Hahnemann Medical College in Chicago. Her dedication to her patients lasted until her very last day, as she died by the bed of a patient at the Santa Ana Community Hospital in 1924. She was seventy-four years old.
Built in 1889 (the same year Orange County became a county), this Queen Anne style house was the home of Dr. Howe-Waffle until her death in 1924. In the early 1970s, the City of Santa Ana slated the home for demolition in order to widen a road, but concerned area citizens joined forces to preserve the house. Under the leadership of Adeline Walker, Friends of the Howe Waffle House formed. This group later became known as the Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society. The organization worked hard to raise awareness, and in 1974 the City of Santa Ana agreed to pay to move the house if the Society would pay for the foundation and restoration work. Between March 27–29, 1975, the City moved the house to its present location on the corner of Civic Center and Sycamore. The Society worked tirelessly over the years to restore the home to how it would have looked during Dr. Howe-Waffle's time.
The all volunteer Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society continues to run the home today as the Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House and Medical Museum, and it is open for tours six times a year.
Grand Central Art Center
Grand Central Art Center is the result of a unique partnership between the California State University at Fullerton and the City of Santa Ana. Located ten miles south of the main campus in the heart of downtown Santa Ana, the art center is a mixed residential, commercial and educational complex. The art center is a 45,000 square-foot, full city-block long and half-city block deep, three-level structure that houses: the Grand Central Main Gallery, Project Room, Education/Teaching Gallery, Grand Central Theater, Gypsy Den Café, Hipcooks, Claudia de la Cruz Flamenco Institute, Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, The Wayward Artist, living/studio spaces for visual arts graduate students, and a studio and living space dedicated to the center’s international artist-in-residence program.
The Grand Central building in downtown Santa Ana, now known as Grand Central Art Center (GCAC), was originally built in 1922 as the central market for the Orange County region. The building was a single story and contained stalls for independent grocers, produce vendors, butchers, etc. and was constructed mid-block between First and Second Streets, with openings facing both Broadway and Sycamore Street. Two years later, in 1924, a two-story addition was added to the building. The renovation provided the main entrance on the 2nd street promenade, 12 storefronts on the first floor, and 29 residential apartments on the second story. The main entrance on Second Street provided additional access to the original market to the south. The Grand Central building served as the central market for Orange County up until the 1940s.
The construction of the building was initiated and funded by locals who had been inspired by the Grand Central Market located in downtown Los Angeles. The most notable contributors were Linn Shaw, pioneer resident, and former postmaster; Roy Russell, realtor; A. N. Zerman, H. Work, and Frank Purington. The architect of the 1922 building was W. W. Kays of Santa Ana; the architects for the 1924 addition were H. Newton Thornton of Santa Ana and F. L. Lindsay of Long Beach.
Beyond being a grocer market and residential venue, the complex also was home to a variety of retail concerns, including clothing and notions shops, a clock shop, cleaners, a flower shop, and a smoke shop. One establishment, the Radio Den, became home to Orange County’s first radio station, KFAW, which was licensed in 1922 and moved to the market in 1924 upon leaving its initial location at the Santa Ana Register.
Eventually, the City of Santa Ana purchased and refurbished the Grand Central Building as part of an initiative to revitalize the downtown areas. LA-based architect Steven Ehrlich did the original design for the remodel; Orange County-based Robbins, Jorgensen and Christopher was the executive architectural firm. In 1994, the city partnered with Santa Ana community activist and visionary Don Cribb and Cal State Fullerton Gallery Director Mike McGee to convert the old Grand Central building into Grand Central Art Center. GCAC quickly became the center for a ten-square block area in the heart of downtown which would be designated as the Artists Village.
CONTINUING TO SERVE THE COMMUNITY
GCAC’s mission of creating exhibitions and dialogue that serves the Santa Ana community parallels the buildings original purpose of providing essential services and acting as a social hub for the city of Santa Ana. Furthermore, in light of the center being founded by locals, GCAC is committed to including all parts of the Santa Ana community by creating free public programming.
La Calle Cuatro
Historic 4th Street "La Calle Cuatro", West End and East End
The historic corridor 4th Street, also known as La Calle Cuatro, is located East to West from Grand Ave to Sasscer Park in Downtown Santa Ana. It is lined with a variety of boutiques, restaurants, as well as various other retail shops and services that cater to a wide audience and multiple demographics.
The centerpiece of Santa Ana's Historic Downtown Corridor is the Historic 4th Street (currently known as Calle Cuatro Marketplace). The West End sits across from the Ronald Reagan Building and consists of lounge cafes, breakfast, lunch and dinner dining, coffee shops, jewelers, craft breweries, bars, retail, barber shops, and movie and concert theaters. The middle of Calle Cuatro contains businesses and stores in travel, insurance, clothing, electronics, sports, shoes, and other needs from baptismal certification to bridal and banking.The East End includes restaurants such as The Playground (started by former Great Food Truck Race winner Chef Jason Quinn) as well as the refurbished Yost Theater. Many retailers and restaurateurs have followed suit and have helped this area compete with neighboring destinations including downtown Anaheim and Costa Mesa. The newest refurbished amenity is The Frida Cinema: a two-screen theater converted to an art-house theater showcasing independent film and film related programming, community-building, and education. Special events at the Frida Cinema include weekly Sunday matinee's, student films, foreign films, film festivals, and cult classics such as Rocky Horror Picture Show. All of Calle Cuatro from West to East is a pedestrian-friendly outdoor mall that markets to the local community, regional shoppers, and tourists.
In February 2015, The 4th Street Market opened, introducing an indoor food market to compliment the expanding food scene. Similar to the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles or the Boston Public Market, the 4th Street Market includes a variety of tenants including Portola Coffee, Electric City Butcher, as well as host an incubator/accelerator kitchen where up-and-coming food producers can utilize the Market's facilities to prepare, package, and sell their goods. The facility also is partnered with Food Centricity, which offers culinary education and acceleration and consulting services.