Historic Preservation

The Santa Ana Historic Resources Commission was established to recognize and preserve historic structures important to the heritage of the City. The Program promotes the identification, evaluation, rehabilitation, adaptive use, and restoration of historic structures.

Historic Preservation Awards

The City of Santa Ana is proud to announce that nominations are being accepted for the 2020 Historic Preservation Awards. The Historic Preservation Awards are intended to recognize outstanding historic rehabilitation and restoration projects, as well as efforts that have furthered the cause of historic preservation in the City.

Award recipients will be honored by both the Historic Resources Commission and the Santa Ana City Council. In addition, those selected will receive a plaque commemorating their contribution to the City and to preserving Santa Ana’s historic resources.

Nominations will be accepted until Friday, August 14, 2020 at 4:00 pm, and may be made by any member of the general public. Details regarding award categories and criteria and the nomination form can be viewed at the links below:

Categories and Criteria
Nomination Form

Applications can be emailed to Pedro Gomez at pgomez@santa-ana.org or placed in the Planning Division drop off area located adjacent to the City Hall Ross Annex at 20 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana, CA 92702. The drop off area will be available Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (noon).

Places of Historic and Architectural SignificancePostcard

In 1998, City Council adopted Chapter 30 of the Santa Ana Municipal Code to establish the “Santa Ana Register of Historical Properties” to list local historically significant properties, and created a Historic Resources Commission to oversee Santa Ana’s Historic Preservation Program.

Historic Properties and Districts

The City of Santa Ana has two National Register Districts: Downtown Santa Ana (listed in 1984) and French Park (listed in 1999). In addition to National Register listing status, the French Park Neighborhood also maintains zoning protection for its structures through Specific Development 19 (SD-19).  While not a National Register District, the Heninger Park neighborhood also has zoning protection for its historic buildings through Specific Development 40 (SD-40). 

Maps of Santa Ana’s historic properties and districts are provided below.  The properties on the Santa Ana Register of Historic Properties list correspond to the Citywide Historic Resources Map, by referencing the local Register number assigned to each historic property.

Historic Property Applications and forms are available to property owners that wish to be considered for placement on the Santa Ana local Register.  

Historic Preservation Design & Review

Any improvements or alterations to a property on the Santa Ana Register of Historic Properties, as well as those contributing properties located in a historic district, must meet the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation and will require a Certificate of Appropriateness. Major alterations, relocations or demolitions are considered for approval by the Historic Resources Commission. Please contact the Planning Division for more information regarding alterations to your historic structure (714) 647-5804 or e-mail PlanningDepartment@santa-ana.org

The Design Guidelines and Historic Application information below provides guidance on the process for obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness for new construction, repairs, and alterations to a historic resource.Historic Preservation

Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation
Citywide Design Guidelines: Historic Structures (See Chapter 13 and Appendices)
French Park Design Guidelines
Heninger Park Design Guidelines
Neighborhood Review (French Park or Heninger Park only)
Historic Exterior Modification Application

Solar Panel Installation on Historic Properties

Historic Resources Commission

The Historic Resources Commission meets quarterly (January, April, July, October) on the first Thursday of the month at 4:30 pm in City Council Chambers. 

Meeting Agenda Packets/Archive - Current and archival agendas, minutes, and audio files are now available via the Clerk of the Council webpage at the link above.

Historic Preservation Incentives

When a property is placed on the state or local historic register, the owners may be eligible for a certain of incentives, as described below:

Information on Historic Preservation Incentives 
Historic Plaque Standards
City Historic Restoration Loan Program

Historic Information and Links

There are other Historic Property Applications and Handouts  that will provide direction on how to apply to designate a property on the Santa Ana local Register, how to plan for exterior repairs or modifications to a historic property,  or pursue a  Mills Act Agreement to help fund the preservation of your historic resource.   

If you would like to learn more about Santa Ana, and other community organizations that support preservation of our historic and cultural heritage click here.