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Orange, California

The City of Orange is like in many ways taking a step back in time.  Orange is one of the oldest cities in the County of Orange. Like so many other areas, the modern day city  began as a farming community. Growing a variety of crops and eventually settling in with Oranges. With the growth in the late 1800’s came progress in the form of incorporation of the city. The Southern Pacific Railroad built a station to be followed by a second, the Santa Fe Railroad Station about seven years later. Packing houses were build to transport the produce. Growth continues with two newspapers, a library, gas street lights and the circular park which formed the center of town. The “Old Towne circle as we know it, remains today.

In  early years of the 1930’s the farm community experienced difficult times including mother nature’s  freeze and flooding conditions, later followed by the Great Depression.  Afterwards the WWII era which brought young soldiers to Southern California for military training.  When the war ended many of the discharged soldiers returned to the Southland (including my young parents, leaving the cold farmlands of Iowa). It was a place to put down roots and call home in the mild climates they experienced previously,   In just one decade between the 50’s to 60’s the population of Orange more than doubled over-night. Statistics indicated that 1957 was one of the largest birth years on record in the U.S.

Orange City facts today include:

  • Population 137,000 +
  • Size ~ 32 Miles
  • 3  Libraries
  • 22  Parks
  • Schools ~ Orange Unified School District
  • Home of Chapman University
  • Average Population Age ~ 35 Years

The city is also well known for the 1880’s Old Towne Orange circle in the heart of the city, complete with fountain. The historical district consists of more than 1300 historic buildings and homes in about a one mile area in the center of the city. The famous town center has also been a favorite back drop for Hollywood movies. It’s interesting for locals to spot their community in some of Hollywood’s favorites.

For some areas of the country buildings dating back to the 1800’s are common place. Yet in Southern California it’s quite unique for many of us to experience.  Sorry to say all to often we see structures demolished after 30-40 years to make way for new development. So when we have something like Old Towne Orange, it’s something we treasure.

When it comes to recreation in Orange, one of my personal favorites in the city is Irvine Regional Park located in Eastern OC, dating back to the late 1800’s. The picturesque setting is known for it’s spectacular live oaks. Many of us who’ve lived in So Cal all our lives remember how it was such a special place to spend the day or just call home.

Interested in finding out more and Orange real estate, Orange homes?  Contact me, the Realtors at  PreferredHomeBrokers.com

Photo very top right, the old Santa Fe train station at 100 N. Atchinson. Today is houses a restaurant and the nearby light rail station.

Above near right, the famous Orange Circle in the heart of the city.
Immediate right, the spectacular facade of one of the historic buildings in Old Towne Orange.

A local favorite  Watson’s Drugs, first established in 1899, is  the oldest ongoing drug store in the County of Orange. This well known landmark continues to operate today and has been a favorite for Hollywood filmakers.

Real Estate Market Data for City of Orange ~ A Comparison of sales prices for closings (4th quarter) 2008 vs. same period 2007. Data Source is SoCAL MLS one of the larges MLS organizations in the U.S.
Although this is not a scientific analysis, it’s intened to be an over all view of the market place within the city.