The crown jewel of Santa Ana, Downtown is home to the largest collection of commercial historic structures in Orange County. In a sea of Orange County tract housing, this 81 acre neighborhood has a unique urban identity that is hard to find in Southern California.
The core of Downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places with over 99 historic structures that date from 1870 to the post-earthquake reconstructions of 1934. This includes a unique blend of Beaux Art, Classic and Spanish Revival, Victorian, Craftsman, Brutalism, California Contemporary, and a dash of Art Deco that makes each walk an experience.
Downtown served as the commercial core of Santa Ana and as the retail center of the larger Santa Ana region until the opening of shopping malls in the 1960s. The predominantly two story business blocks with ground level retail uses and upper story residential or office uses are complemented by a scattering of taller structures, the largest of which is six stories. Downtown includes commercial buildings, churches, fraternal halls and civic buildings which remain as a collection of historically and architecturally significant buildings that typify a complete small city urban environment, as it would have existed in the first third of the century.