Friday, January 04, 2008

A loss for Old Town Orange

177 N Glassell St., Orange (1914): The first photo was taken last night, as the sign was being uncovered. The second photo was taken this afternoon, after a work crew (under orders) scraped as much of the sign off as they could. Here's the story so far...
After decades at the corner of Maple and Glassell, Orange Lock & Key is finally moving. Yesterday, in preparation for the new tenant, the stucco was removed from the facade, exposing the old brickwork and sign beneath. The sign -- clear as day -- read, "Sens Market."
The City and probably both historical groups in Orange should have been contacted about this, and the sign definitely should have been preserved. There has been a significant, on-going, sign preservation effort going on downtown in recent years.
Instead, this afternoon the work crew scraped off as much of the sign as they could.
As one local wrote to me,..."This sign most likely pre-dates 'Wally's Market'... It's just sickening to see what they did in less than 24hrs..."


itsnotaplace said...

isn't that address at Maple and Glassell rather than Walnut and Glassell?

Being in the location that it is (near the circle), doesn't the city of Orange have any kind of controls on the things done to buildings in the historic district?

It is sad that people don't first think to contact a local historical society about things like this, or at least the city...

but I must admit I did not think to contact the Buena park HS at first when I was trying to get help rescuing the Dreger Clock from being sold as a trinket. Somehow we need to educate people to think about calling a historical society before destroying older buildings and items of historic value. (much like the power and telephone companies tell people to call them before digging where they might be underground wires!)

outsidetheberm said...

What a shame - and a loss for Orange. Had it been retained, it could have really added to the character of the plaza.

Chris Merritt said...

Wow - sad. Sorry to hear it.

colony rabble said...

Does OTPA know about this?!I am working on a writeup in Orange, happy to check the directories to see how early the store was there, although it is too late to save it. Argh!

Chris Jepsen said...

itsnotaplace: You are correct about the corner. Several people pointed this out to me. The glitch is corrected and I thank you for finding it.

I'd like to think that you're right: That they simply didn't "think to contact a local historical society." My fear is that they DID think about it and decided they'd destroy the sign before the community forced them to preserve it. (It's less hassle that way, dontcha know?)

It's a much milder version of what happens in "redevelopment fires" or in situations where a demolition permit is pulled at 5pm and the historic facade is torn off at sunrise the next day.

I'm not saying that's what they were thinking here, but that's the worse case scenario. I'm hoping it was just ignorance or lack of communication. I like to believe the best about people.

Colony Rabble: Yes, OTPA knows. And thanks, but at the moment, I think we have the history covered. Your research skills are outstanding, and I'd hire you in a second if I wanted research done on another property or for Mills Act documentation. But if Phil can't tell me something about a building in Downtown Orange, I figure NOBODY can. :-)

outsidetheberm: You get a gold star for saying "plaza" instead of "circle."

Anonymous said...

OTPA was appropriately out raged by the near demolition of the historic sign. The architect would like OTPA to contact him before we they seek a higher source. OTPA is in the process of stopping any further demolition of this historic sign. There was a group formed to save what is left of the historic sign age near the historic plaza. Thank you all of you citizens who were appropriately up set over this lapse in historic preservation. pmr old towne