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Old Orange County Courthouse

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An Overview of the Old Orange County Courthouse

The Old Orange County Courthouse, also known as the Santa Ana County Courthouse, is a significant historical landmark located in Santa Ana, California. This Romanesque Revival building has a rich history that dates back to its opening in September 1901. Situated in Santa Ana's Historic Downtown District, at the intersection of Civic Center and Broadway streets, the courthouse stands as a testament to the region's architectural heritage.

The Old Orange County Courthouse holds great historical and cultural significance. It is recognized as California Historical Landmark No. 837 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Over the years, the courthouse has played various roles, from serving as a functioning court building to being featured in several movies and television shows. Today, it serves as a museum and houses the Orange County History Center.

Key Amenities Found at the Old Orange County Courthouse

  • Free Admission: The Old Courthouse Museum at the Old Orange County Courthouse offers free admission, allowing visitors to explore the exhibits without any cost.
  • Guided Tours: OC Parks provides guided tours of the courthouse by appointment. These tours offer visitors a deeper insight into the history and significance of the building.
  • Government Services: The Orange County Clerk-Recorder's office is located within the courthouse, offering various government services such as passports and wedding ceremonies.
  • Exhibition Gallery: The courthouse features an exhibition gallery that showcases both temporary and permanent exhibits on local and regional history. This allows visitors to immerse themselves in the rich heritage of Orange County.

What You Will See When You Visit the Old Orange County Courthouse

  • Romanesque Revival Architecture: The courthouse's exterior is a stunning example of Romanesque Revival architecture, characterized by its grand red sandstone façade and intricate detailing. The building's design evokes a sense of timeless elegance and stands as a testament to the architectural styles of the past.
  • Historic Downtown District: The courthouse is situated in Santa Ana's Historic Downtown District, which is a vibrant area with a rich cultural and artistic scene. Exploring the surrounding streets allows visitors to soak in the ambiance of the district and discover other nearby attractions.
  • Orange County History Center: The courthouse houses the Orange County History Center, where visitors can delve into the region's past through engaging exhibits. The center showcases artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that bring the history of Orange County to life.
  • Movie and Television History: The Old Orange County Courthouse has been featured in various movies and television shows, making it a popular destination for film enthusiasts. Visiting the courthouse allows you to see the location where iconic scenes were filmed and immerse yourself in the world of cinema.
  • Architectural Details: As you explore the courthouse, take note of the architectural details that make it a remarkable structure. From the intricate carvings to the soaring ceilings, every corner of the building is a visual delight.

Why You Should Visit the Old Orange County Courthouse

  • Historical Significance: The courthouse is not only a remarkable architectural gem but also holds immense historical significance. It is a designated California Historical Landmark and is listed on the NRHP (National Register of Historic Places). Exploring the courthouse allows you to connect with the past and gain a deeper understanding of the region's heritage.
  • Cultural Experience: The scenic Orange County History Center housed within the courthouse offers a captivating cultural experience. Through its exhibits, you can learn about the diverse communities, events, and milestones that have shaped Orange County's identity.
  • Architectural Beauty: The Romanesque Revival architecture of the courthouse is a sight to behold. Whether you are an architecture enthusiast or simply appreciate stunning buildings, the courthouse's exterior and interior will leave a lasting impression.
  • Film and Television Connections: If you are a fan of movies and television shows, visiting the courthouse will provide an opportunity to step into the world of entertainment. Recognize the iconic courthouse from scenes in your favorite productions and discover the movie magic firsthand.
  • Educational Opportunities: The Old Orange County Courthouse offers educational programs and resources for visitors of all ages. Whether you are a student, a history enthusiast, or simply curious about the region's past, the courthouse provides valuable learning experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Old Orange County Courthouse

  • Is admission to the Old Orange County Courthouse free?

Yes, admission to the Old Courthouse Museum at the Old Orange County Courthouse is free of charge.

  • Can I take a guided tour of the courthouse?

Yes, guided tours of the courthouse are available by appointment. OC Parks provides these tours to offer visitors a deeper understanding of the building's history.

  • What services are provided by the Orange County Clerk-Recorder's office?

The Orange County Clerk-Recorder's office, located within the courthouse, offers services such as passports and wedding ceremonies.

  • Are there any temporary exhibits at the courthouse?

Yes, the courthouse's exhibition gallery showcases both temporary and permanent exhibits on local and regional history. This ensures that there is always something new to discover during your visit.

  • Can I host special events or private parties at the Old Orange County Courthouse?

Yes, the courthouse offers amenities for special events and private parties. For more information and reservations, it is advisable to contact the OC Public Parks department.


The Old Orange County Courthouse stands as a testament to the rich history and architectural heritage of Santa Ana, California. Its Romanesque Revival design, historical significance, and cultural offerings make it a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike.

When it comes to personal injury cases, MVP Accident Attorneys is always ready to provide quality legal services. If you find yourself in need of legal representation, their team of dedicated lawyers is available to assist you.

Address: 211 W Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana, CA 92701, United States.


brett sachs2
Brett Sachs

Brett S. Sachs graduated from Michigan State University College of Law with Cum Laude Honors. While attending Michigan State, Brett was awarded for his service in the Michigan State University College of Law Civil Rights Clinic, where he represented prisoners of the Michigan Department of Corrections from injustices brought upon them. Learn more.

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