This page is an early stage repository for the architectural history of Orange County. Here, you may find some of the best research about the history of the built environment in our county, from the beginnings of human habitation to the present day. 

The banner photo above shows the covers of the Time Magazine issues for December 27, 1954 (left), and September 6, 1963. The 1954 cover article reported that Disneyland was under construction in Anaheim, and in 1963, Time was interested in the master plan that William Pereira was designing for the Irvine Company.



Late-Modern Mirror Glass Architecture, 1970-1985: A Lecture by Daniel Paul


Daniel Paul explains the architectural origins of mirror glass as a material for office buildings in the US, and highlights its early use in Los Angeles and Orange County. 

In March 2018, architectural historian and Orange County native, Daniel Paul gave a presentation on the history of mirror glass architecture at the esteemed Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture in London, England. Paul is Senior Architectural Historian at ICF in Los Angeles, and is well known in preservation circles in Southern California for his work on the modern period and championing recent past resources in the region. 

In the lecture, Mr. Paul explains that mirror glass was used for the first time by Eero Saarinen and Associates for the Nokia Bell Laboratories, but it was Anthony Lumsden and Cesar Pelli who initially developed the reflective glass skin in the mid-1960s in building applications in Southern California. Listen closely, Paul shares his knowledge of the mirror and reflective glass buildings of the business parks of Orange County, like the Koll Center in Newport Beach. 


Mission History Lecture Series, Mission San Juan Capistrano

Three scholars of California mission history presented at the Mission San Juan Capistrano in May and July 2018.   

Rose Marie Beebe, Professor of Spanish Literature at Santa Clara University, and Bob Senkewicz, Professor of History at Santa Clara University, share their research of the history of Spanish and Mexican California, and their in-depth understanding of the founding peoples. Professors Beebe and Senkewicz are the authors of Junipero Serra: California, Indians, and the Transformation of a Missionary (University of Oklahoma Press, 2015). Ruben Mendoza is an archeologist and Chair of the School of Social, Behavioral and Global Studies at California State University, Monterey Bay. Professor Mendoza has been directly involved in mission restoration in California and Arizona, and among his many publications, he is the author of The California Missions Source Book (2009).    


Land of Promise and Despair: Spanish and Mexican California

Presented by Dr. Rose Marie Beebe and Dr. Robert Senkewicz, Santa Clara University

Junipero Serra: The Man Behind the Myth

Presented by Dr. Rose Marie Beebe and Dr. Robert Senkewicz, Santa Clara University

Saint Junipero Serra and the Dream of California

Presented by Dr. Rubén G. Mendoza, California State University, Monterey Bay

O’ What a Tangled Web We Weave: The Archeology of Objects and Materials in the California Missions

Presented by Dr. Rubén G. Mendoza, California State University, Monterey Bay


Copyright 2018 Boom California, University of California Press

Copyright 2018 Boom California, University of California Press

“Seeing Orange County” with Tom Zoellner and Elaine Lewinnek

Published online in February 2018 in Boom California, from the University of California Press, this is an insightful exchange about Orange County between English Literature professor, Tom Zoellner, and American Studies professor, Elaine Lewinek. Though they’re addressing the built environment, their perspective comes from outside the field of historic preservation.

Click here for the essays.