When Nook Sales Experts match a buyer with their dream home, the only thing as important as architectural style is the neighborhood. Luckily, each neighborhood in our regions has its own distinct flavor, and it won’t be hard to find your perfect match. That’s why we’re bringing you the #NookNeighborhoods series, where every Wednesday you’ll find cool history and culture to make sure you don’t overlook an area that could have the best nook for you.
Do you wish your family could experience that small town feel, where you know your Mayor and run into your children’s teachers on walks? Do you like antiques and mom-and-pop businesses and historic buildings? Do you love festivals, street fairs and other local events to engage with or just enjoy your community?
Then you want to live in Old Towne Orange.
The historic plaza - one of the few places in the region where the center of town is still a park - houses a beautiful fountain, plentiful benches lining circular paths reminiscent of - or perhaps inspiration for - Disney’s Main Street USA. Locals have a healthy debate on whether to call it a circle or a Orange Plaza Square, and you’ll form your own opinion before you live there long.
How the plaza was built is a true testament to the nature of the city, and one which survives today. Residents in 1886 raised the money to beautify an eyesore in the middle of town themselves, through theatrical shows, fairs and good old fashioned bake sales.
The OTO community continues that tradition today, with a major event nearly every month: an International Food Festival, Orange Plaza Classic Car Show, Treats in the Street Autumn Festival, a Farmer’s Market every Thursday, and the Annual Tree Lighting ceremony, just to name the upcoming ones.
With over 40 antique and collectible stores near downtown, there is no end to the history you can find in the neighborhood. Of course, we are huge fans of architectural styles at Nook, and Old Towne Orange boasts over 8 specific styles among its historic buildings alone: Bungalow, Craftsman, Hip Roof Cottage, Mediterranean, Prairie, Spanish Colonial, and Victorian. Many of these homes have retained their original unique qualities, even through expansions or remodeling. OTO cares so much about their heritage that they created The Mills Act, where homeowners who keep the historical facade may enjoy a 40-60% reduction in their property taxes.
Its historic homes even warrant their own event. Every November, the Orange Town Preservation Association puts out a call for homes to be included in the self-guided walking tour. Vintage trolleys are used to move from home to home, and the whole town gets into the fun of architecture!
There are plenty of delectable treats to consume on your tours and at the festival, like The Perfect Circle Cupcakery. Kelly from the blog “I Heart Old Towne Orange” featured that shop and others who are undergoing redesigns to keep the old town feel while accommodating more modern necessities and sensibilities. Restaurant choices include Mexican, sushi, juice, Italian, cafes and bakeries, plus an excellent selection of healthy choices: Green Tomato Grill, Greenery Natural Kitchen and Fit Foods on the Go, to start.
Besides nearby Chapman University, Old Towne Orange also boasts an impressive roster of elementary, middle and high schools: three locations rate a 9 out of 10 on Great Schools (Chapman Hills Elementary, Linda Vista Elementary and McPherson Magnet School). The City of Orange’s Public Library has also created an integral nook for itself in the community, with literacy and enrichment events nearly every day of the week.
Some have gone so far as to describe Old Towne Orange as living in a Normal Rockwell painting. If you want to see for yourself, check out our #SearchWithStyle or contact us to learn which beautiful homes are on the market.