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Santa Ana City

Santa Ana City Hall is located at 20 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana, CA 92701; phone: 714-647-5400.

Beginnings [1]

Founded in 1869 by William Spurgeon, the City of Santa Ana originally consisted of approximately 43 acres that included twenty-four city blocks with ten lots on each block. Commercial uses and a post office initially comprised the City's center. Agricultural uses within and surrounding the City primarily consisted of citrus and walnuts. The expansion of rail lines in the area led to the expansion and growth of the City. In 1878, when the City had a population of 711 residents, the Southern Pacific Railroad (SPRR) extended railroad ties through the area. By 1886, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe (AT&SF) Railroad was constructed, and the City's population was 2,000 persons. In 1886, the City of Santa Ana was incorporated. In 1889, the Orange County seat was re-established in Santa Ana, and a downtown area was established at Main and Broadway between First and Fourth Streets.

Turn of the century neighborhoods in the City include French Park, North Broadway, and Heninger Park. In the early part of the 1900s, large custom homes were built in the North Central, Northeast, Floral Park, and Wilshire Square neighborhoods. By 1910, the City's population had grown to 8,429 persons and was the largest city in Orange County.

By 1896, Santa Ana included a network of improved roads, scattered structures, and segments of the SPRR and the AT&SF railroads. By 1942, the number of roads and structures had substantially increased, and only the SPRR remained. The city experienced a building boom for residential and public buildings in 1945. The Santa Ana Army Air Base, built during World War II, was a major catalyst for post-war population growth, as many veterans moved to the area to raise families after the end of the war. Since the 1980s, revitalization of downtown has been a primary focus.

  1. City of Santa Ana Transit Zoning Code (SD84A and SD84B),, accessed June, 2011.
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