Floral Park began to blossom in the early 1920s, soon after World War I. As the weary soldiers returned home, many married their sweethearts and made plans to settle down, buy a house, and have a family. They brought with them visions of quaint French Norman and English Tudor cottages, colorful Spanish Colonial villas, and dignified Italianate homes.
During the prosperous years of the 1920s, it was said that “every man could have his castle and he could have it in any style he wanted.” Floral Park, with its rich cornucopia of architectural styles, is particularly representative of that trend.
The streetscapes of Floral Park grew from an occasional large farm house among the orange, avocado and walnut groves to sections of single-family homes in a variety of romantic styles. Spanish Colonial Revival houses, with their red tile roofs and softly colored stucco exteriors, were particularly popular. Shaded by palm trees, they became a symbol of Southern California living.
English Tudor Revival homes, exhibiting lots of charm and character, were built in many versions. Early American designs, such as Federal, Cape Cod and Georgian, added to the rich variety. Architects enjoyed mixing features, taking what they liked from each style and creating one-of-a-kind homes.
In the 1930s and early 1940s, there were still several orange groves in Floral Park. After World War II, the remaining groves disappeared as a new building boom resulted in the construction of new custom ranch-style homes with large light-filled rooms, sliding glass doors to back yards, and open horizontal floor plans. Garages, now attached to the house, became necessary as more families had two cars.
The Floral Park Neighborhood Association works actively to preserve the character and beauty of the neighborhood and to provide a sense of friendliness and helpfulness to its residents. Over 100 individual homes in the neighborhood are currently listed on the Santa Ana Historic Register. The FPNA board of directors, local architectural historians, and the City of Santa Ana believe historic district designation is a good, logical step in preserving and enhancing the charm and desirable nature of our neighborhood. Therefore, the Floral Park Neighborhood Association is in the process of pursuing that national historic designation.
Architect to the Stars:
PAUL REVERE WILLIAMS
Contact for Floral Park Historic District: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact for Mills Act or Santa Ana Historic Registry: PlanningDepartment@santa-ana.org