DTSA is shining a light for the first time on Orange County’s treasure-trove of historic buildings from the 1910’s-1930’s this holiday season
OC’s finest collection of Art Deco/Moderne, Beaux Arts, Neoclassical and California Churrigueresque-style buildings will be lustrously lit each Saturday this December in the historic commercial heart of Orange County.
Kicking-off at the December 7th DTSA Artwalk, the jaw-dropping architecture of Downtown Santa Ana will be on-display in the nighttime like never before. Starting with four of DTSA’s best-known landmarks, local leaders hope the temporary illumination will spark the imagination of owners and the City to shine light on the finest historic edifices in OC for all to see.
The Spurgeon “Clock Tower” Building - Neoclassical (4th/Sycamore)
Envisioned by the founder of Orange County and first Mayor of Santa Ana, the Spurgeon Building was the birthplace of OC commerce and remains a touting symbol of the City of Santa Ana. It’s glorious clocktower was restored in the 1990’s through the efforts of self-proclaimed bon-vivant and historian, Tim Rush, and the building was purchased in 2018 by Jeff Smith and Scott Ostlund (of Sunset Beach Water Tower fame), who re-invigorated the building’s interiors, further restored the clocktower and filled the building to the brim with new tenants without displacing long-term users.
First National Bank Building - Beaux Arts (4th/Main)
OC’s first “high rise” steel-frame constructed building was designed by John Parkinson, famed architect behind Los Angeles City Hall, Union Station, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the gorgeous Bullocks Wilshire Building. Husband-and-wife owners Kim and Ted Tapfer have lovingly restored the building and filled it with creative firms and ground-floor retail, though creative office space and the incredible, subterranean bank vault are still seeking perfect tenants for one of OC’s coolest historic locations. Contact Kim and Ted at (714) 565-8000 or visit the web site at 106WestDTSA.com.
Santora Building - California Churrigueresque (2nd/Broadway)
A portmanteau of the words “Santa Ana” and “Orange,” the Santora building is a rare and jaw-dropping “ultra gothic” example of California Churrigueresque architecture reminiscent of 17th century Madrid. This stunning anchor of the DTSA Artists Village is home to a mix of artists studios, creative offices and favorite neighborhood haunts like Blackmarket Bakery DTSA, Lola Gaspar and Congregation Alehouse. Owner Jack Jakosky is passionate about creating spaces for artists to work and thrive as he is also the brains behind a nearby industrial arts complex, the Logan Creative, at a defunct metalworks ladder factory.
Old City Hall - Art Deco/Moderne (3rd/Main)
Constructed with a $126,000 Works Progress Administration (WPA) grant, this Assyrian warrior-clad Moderne gem was the precious seat of Santa Ana’s municipal government from the 1930’s to the 1980’s and was ultimately evacuated by its final City employee in 1999. Designed by famed Long Beach architect, W. Horace Austin, Old City Hall’s sister buildings in the “LBC” include the Masonic Temple (now lofts) and the Long Beach Airport terminal. Austin also designed Santa Ana’s Masonic Temple and the Bowers Museum. In 2000, Old City Hall’s interior was stripped-down and converted into a raw, industrial, open floor plan creative space: a design that earned it praise and recognition from the American Institute of Architects/Orange County, as well being awarded the Best Commercial Rehab Project in the 14 Western States and Pacific Rim Countries. Formerly home to OC’s biggest independent advertising agency, the 1935 historic office with modern, exposed interiors is currently seeking new tenants for its 36,000 sq feet which is available through listing agent CBRE at (714-371-9333).
The historic holiday lights program was initiated by Downtown Inc’s Placemaker, Ryan Smolar, and co-sponsored by 4th Street Market and the owners of Old City Hall, the First National Bank Building, Santora Building and the Spurgeon Building. Lighting Design by Deryk Dustin.
Visit the buildings any Saturday in December from 6pm-10pm. 2 Hour Free Parking is available at City parking structures at 5th/Spurgeon, 5th/Main, 3rd/Broadway, 3rd/Birch.