Orange County’s Significant Architecture

In 2007 AIA Orange County developed a list of significant architecture within the county.  Below is the work produced in 2007.  We hope to be updating this in 2016.

In celebration of the American Institute of Architects 150th year, the Orange County Chapter is proud to host a dialogue about the significant architecture in  the County of the past 150 years. We hope that this review will guide you both to expected and unexpected corners of the County.  You will find architecture noteworthy on a global scale, as well architecture that holds in intimate place for architects in Orange County.

Of course, where there is a group of architects, there is a group of opinions.  The simple selection of the word “significant” allowed for varied interpretation as architects considered a building’s influence in the county, resulting in a robust cross section of architecture. Without the dedicated work of our members, this project would not have been realized. Those that chose to participate make the Chapter better, and they do so on a volunteer basis. Projects like this take an enormous effort, so a sincerest thanks goes out to the entire AIA 150 Committee. Additionally, thank you to the Board of Directors for its support of the process. Finally, thank you to those members that participated in the selection process, continue to participate in the dialogue, and make Orange County better through quality design and services.

Brian Pratt, AIA
2007 Orange County AIA President

Compilations of this type are typically biased by what is current. We felt is was important to include the great work of our time as well as times gone by. While The Ronald Reagan Tower in impressive today, is it any more impressive than the original Orange County Courthouse was in its day?

To appreciate  this tradition of great buildings, we organized this collection in chronological order so one could see the history of our built environment unfold in a continuous process. This assemblage of buildings began by collecting all (known) AIAOC Honor Award winners and all 25- Year Award winners. This list was augmented by additional noteworthy projects and was reviewed by the Past Presidents and Fellows of our chapter. The membership was then asked to consider the work over time and to vote on the fifteen most significant projects of the county in its history.  The most significant work is highlighted with larger photographs.

We trust you will find the results as varied in scale, aesthetics, and program. Where else can Blimp Hangers and Disneyland coexist with a Neutra jewel box and a master planned community?

Where else but in Orange County?

Jim Wirick, AIA
2007 Orange 
County AIA 150 Committee Chair

Download the AIAOC 150 Book HERE