A PLAN FOR OLD TIME ANAHEIM
Mickey Caldwell
ANAHEIM & AESTHETIC VALUE:  Mickey Caldwell, a leader in the
drive to establish preservation guidelines within Anaheim’s old city limits,
stands in front of her next-door neighbor’s 1922 Spanish Eclectic home on
Broadway.
Reprinted from the July 21, 1997 Orange County Register
By MARLA JO FISHER
The Orange County Register
It’s true that much of the city’s commercial heart was bulldozed under during the late 1970s. But, as a group of local volunteers
wants to show, there’s more to the old neighborhoods than people might expect.
On Tuesday, they plan to preview for the City Council a proposal to create a historic district within the original township limits.
”We want to make this district something to be proud of, so people wouldn’t just come to Anaheim to go to Disneyland, but come
to see our neighborhoods,” said Mickey Caldwell, one of the history buffs seeking to turn the original Anaheim Colony into a
preservation zone.
The area, once entirely encircled by a willow fence, is where 50 German families each paid $750 to become part of a winemaking
cooperative in 1857. It was the first nonreligious colony of Europeans to settle in Orange County.
Caldwell and her husband, Mitch, are among a growing number of people who have moved back into the district, seeking the
character and workmanship that no tract house can match.
The couple bought their 1912 Mission Revival home fourteen years ago, and have lovingly restored its polished-wood and
stained-glass interiors to mint condition.
Since then, they and others like them have become convinced that the creation of a historic district would improve their
neighborhoods and raise property values, as owners take pride in the special recognition
”Our intention is that people will see the neighborhood improving, that their property values are going up, and want to keep
their homes,” Mickey Caldwell said.
To that end, the group of about 40 people has been working for a year on a plan to recognize the approximately 1,100 buildings
within the district dating from the 1920s and earlier that have historical or architectural interest or both.
About 200 of those buildings have been looked at more carefully over the past year.
For example, volunteers recorded the condition and history of the Boege house, a Pueblo Revival house at 500 N. Clementine
St., across from Pearson Park.
This modest but charming house was built in 1921 by Charles Boege, a former city treasurer who was sentenced to San Quentin
prison for embezzling money from the city.
His pioneer father owned the Boege Winery until a grape blight destroyed the vines. The house was later purchased by
Dr. Irwin and then owned by the Faessel family, who arrived from Chicago to work at the Granada Packing House, the citrus
cooperative that equated oranges with good health and sunshine and owned by Frank Belmont.
The proposal to be shown to the City Council on Tuesday establishes voluntary guidelines for owners of an undetermined
number of significant buildings.
Committee members have suggested designating either the 200 buildings recently surveyed in depth, or the 1,100 from an
earlier survey, as worthy of preservation.
Owners would have to meet with city officials to learn about the historic nature of their buildings before renovating or
demolishing them.
But unlike other cities, Anaheim would continue to allow owners to decide the fate of their structures.
Anaheim doesn’t have rules defining or regulating historic structures, and the plan would not guarantee that any building would
be saved.
Instead, preservationists hope the voluntary guidelines, along with peer pressure from neighbors and education about historic
renovation, give the sites a chance.
Building owners are more likely to accept a voluntary plan, and some council members already favor it. But a vote on the plan is
probably months away.
”I think it’s a good idea to save some historical homes,” said Councilman Lou Lopez, who has spent years patrolling the
downtown area as a police officer. ”It would give people an incentive to beautify their neighborhood. It’s a pride thing.”