The best part of Old Towne Orange is the story of how it was founded. In exchange for legal fees, lawyers Alfred Beck Chapman and Andrew Glassell were given 1,385 acres of land in 1869. Old Towne starts at the Plaza Park and extends to where Glassell St. and Chapman Ave meet. Glassell & Chapman also divide Old Town Orange perfectly into four quarter square mile sections. Park Plaza is a small park full of mature trees and a classic old-fashioned water fountain surrounded by an old-fashioned traffic circle. Originally, Glassell & Chapman started the town as a commercial venture. They sold 10-acre sites surrounding a 40-acre town plaza area. Today the plaza features an array of retail and food establishments, from outdoor restaurants and gift shops to antique cars and even a Restoration Hardware.
Old Towne Orange is known as "The Antique Capital of California." Many commercial buildings and homes within the Old Plaza's square mile are on the National Register of Historic Places. Among the eateries in Old Towne, you'll find one located in a converted 1800's chapel and one in a 100-year-old drug store.
According to State Historic Resource Surveys, Orange has the second-largest concentration of historic buildings. Architectural styles in old town Orange are diverse and include Bungalow, Craftsman, Mediterranean, Prairie, Spanish Colonial, Victorian, and Hip Roof Cottages. These architectural styles are reminiscent of life in Orange from 1888-1940. Old Towne historic district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997 and included more than 1,300 homes and other buildings.
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