Preserve Orange County was founded in 2016 by a group of county residents who identified a need for a central organization concerned with historic preservation in the whole county. As a nonprofit membership organization, our mission is to work through education and advocacy to promote conservation of our county’s architectural and cultural heritage. We believe that historic resources are essential to maintaining and improving the livability, diversity, sustainability and economic vitality of our communities. Our goal is to strengthen the work of local activists and volunteers with county-wide support, and increase awareness throughout the county of our shared built heritage.   

Preserve Orange County is a nonprofit corporation and tax-exempt charity registered as an IRC Section 501 (c)(3).  

The banner photograph above shows the main elevation of the Helena Modeska House in Modjeska Canyon. Built in 1888 and known as “Arden,” the house and gardens are in the care of Orange County Parks and the County of Orange. The site represents one of only two National Historic Landmarks in the county. (The other is the Richard Nixon Birthplace in Yorba Linda.) The house is a rare example in Southern California of the Shingle style, a very popular architecture on the east coast. The design is attributed to architect, Stanford White, of the famous New York firm of McKim, Mead, and White.

Interview with Preserve Orange Countyboard member, Tim Rush, March 2017. Courtesy of Larry Saavedra.