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A Tale of Three Cities: Case Examples in Preservation Management

Three historic Orange County cities – Anaheim (1876), Santa Ana (1886), and Orange (1888) -- are neighbors and old cities in a young county. The management of historic resources in each city has had an important impact on housing stock and neighborhoods. Despite having similar historic resources, they have developed a variety of preservation management tools and approaches that support their differing politics, recent histories, and demographics. The economic and ethnic diversity of each locale presents its own challenges for establishing preservation standards, and demands new ways of reaching people with a consistent message. Preservation in these cities has conserved not only history and character, but also sustainable, long-lasting housing stock. All three cities have a dedicated preservation planner, an active Mills Act program, and a wealth of early twentieth century residential resources to manage, but they provide a variety of program models reflecting their history and politics.

Learning Objectives

  1. Benefits and challenges of operating with or without a historic preservation ordinance, commission, or Historic District design standards and guidelines.
  2. Approaches for employing and regulating historical property contracts under the Mills Act.
  3. Are citywide historic surveys useful for cities that have gained most of their land since the 1950s?
  4. How can technology make preservation policy more transparent?


  • Jennifer Trotoux, Senior Associate, Architectural Resources Group
  • Christine (Christy) Nguyen, LEED (AP), Historic Preservation Planner, City of Anaheim
  • Hally Soboleske, Historic Preservation Planner, City of Santa Ana
  • Marissa Moshier, Historic Preservation Planner, City of Orange

Image Credits:
• Sunkist by Jasperdo is licensed under CC0

Featured Image Credit:
• Sunkist by Jasperdo is licensed under CC0