Seeking some architectural inspiration around Orange County? Go take a trip to the Old Orange County Courthouse, located at 211 W. Santa Ana Blvd in Santa Ana, California. Initially built in 1901, the Old Orange County Courthouse underwent significant changes and restorations in the 1980s before being designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
This Orange County landmark played an essential role in American history and architecture. The architectural style of this landmark is Romanesque Revival, which is evident in the arches, columns, and carvings. The Old Orange County Courthouse was the site of many significant trials in our history, including the prosecution of Sirhan Sirhan following the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.
Then there was the Silverado silver rush of the late 1870s. As miners came to find their fortune, there was an overabundance of land disputes in the Silverado Canyon area, and many came to settle their disputes in this Orange County landmark. So it’s safe to say that the Old Orange County Courthouse was instrumental in establishing property boundaries and property ownership rights in Orange County, California.
This Orange County landmark also has a haunted past; it’s said that the ghost of a former judge haunts the courtroom on the third floor. An apparition wearing a black robe sits in the judge’s chair and walks around the room. There have been numerous witnesses that attest to these apparitions.
These haunted sightings include the ghost of a prisoner who died in the courthouse jail. This ghostly figure haunts the jail area, and those visiting the site have heard unexplained footsteps and have seen apparitions. Objects move independently without anyone, such as doors opening and closing and chairs moving independently, and many visitors can hear papers flying off the desks without reason and creepy whispers.
The Old Orange County Courthouse has appeared in movies and television series such as “Catch Me If You Can” (2002), “Legally Blonde” (2001), “The X-Files” (1993-2002), and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997- 2003). The exterior of the Old Orange County Courthouse has also been used on “American Horror Story: Asylum.”
The above is just a partial list of features and television shows found in this Orange County landmark’s resume. Today, the courthouse is a museum full of history and mystique and worth visiting.
Photo Credit: Preserve Orange County
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From the Design Studio
by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting