Know the Neighbors
Orange Design Collaborative
Looking out after Old Towne, the Orange Design Collaborative includes volunteer architects Doug Ely, Susan Secoy, Jon Califf, Leason Pomeroy and Everett Martinez.

A group of architects and community-minded professionals have come together to spearhead some much-needed infrastructure improvements in Old Towne Orange.

According to local architect Doug Ely, the all-volunteer Orange Design Collaborative has recently initiated a plan to maximize parking spaces in the Plaza area, as well as increase and beautify the number of trash enclosures in the historic commercial district.

“We get together on Friday mornings and talk about the issues that are important to Old Towne Orange,” Doug said. “One of those issues is parking in the four quadrants of the commercial district. We believe we can increase the number of parking spaces to approximately 90 vehicles [pending final plan development] just by re-striping the lots and reconfiguring the street parking on North and South Glassell streets.“

The group has also been “talking trash” lately, creating a proposal for seven additional trash enclosures placed within the four-quadrant area that will provide trash and recycle bins along with a dedicated container for restaurants to deposit their cooking grease.

Designed with brick facades that match the look of historic buildings, the trash enclosures will include covered tops and lighting.

Doug anticipates that the downtown merchants will rally behind the plan, which will in turn help the group fine-tune the details and determine funding sources.

Originally formed in 1992, the Collaborative has tackled tough issues in the past – from assisting the city with its seismic retrofitting program to facade improvements on historic buildings. Recently, the group was hired by the City of Santa Ana to help develop a facade enhancement program on Main Street between First and Warner, and they were also appointed town architect for the City of Fullerton.

They are also “dusting off” an earlier idea for the creation of new directional and informational signage. Meanwhile, the parking plan will be a collaborative effort between the public and private lot owners, said Doug.

“We think we can gain approximately 55 more vehicles in the lots with our re-striping plan,” he said. “We can also pick up approximately 35 extra spaces by angling the existing spaces on one side of North and South Glassell streets and improving the parallel parking on the opposite side while maintaining the two-way street.”

Published in the Jan/Feb 2012 edition of the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review

Written by Karen Anderson, Photograph by Jeanine Hill

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