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Old Towne Orange Plaza named one of five Great Public Spaces in America for 2018 – Orange County Register

Old Towne Orange Plaza named one of five Great Public Spaces in America for 2018 – Orange County Register
  • Kurt Christiansen, President-Elect of the American Planning Affiliation, laughs as he poses for photographs after a ceremony commemorating the Old Towne Orange Plaza being named one of this yr’s five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Affiliation’s annual Great Locations in America listing in Orange on Thursday, October four, 2018. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A bigger-than-life mockup of the longer term plaque to be positioned subsequent to the fountain commemorating the Old Towne Orange Plaza in Orange as one of this yr’s five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Affiliation’s annual Great Locations in America listing after a ceremony to announce the popularity in Orange on Thursday, October four, 2018. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Members of the Orange Metropolis Council are lead in the Pledge of Allegiance by Khalia Kierzek, a third-grader at Cambridge Elementary, Christopher Urquizo, a fourth-grader from the Youth Facilities of Orange, and Bridgette Van Blarcom, eight, a third-grader from St. John’s, from left, to kick-off a ceremony commemorating the Old Towne Orange Plaza being named one of this yr’s five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Affiliation’s annual Great Locations in America record in Orange on Thursday, October four, 2018. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Residents applaud throughout a ceremony commemorating the Old Towne Orange Plaza being named one of this yr’s five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Affiliation’s annual Great Locations in America record in Orange on Thursday, October four, 2018. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A placeholder exhibits the longer term location of a plaque commemorating the Old Towne Orange Plaza in Orange as one of this yr’s five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Affiliation’s annual Great Locations in America listing throughout a ceremony to announce the popularity in Orange on Thursday, October four, 2018. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • St. John’s first-grader Eden Hollatz, 6, sits on the lap of third grader Bridgette Van Blarcom, eight, as they watch a ceremony commemorating the Old Towne Orange Plaza in Orange being named one of this yr’s five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Affiliation’s annual Great Locations in America record in Orange on Thursday, October four, 2018. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Metropolis staff remover the flag after a ceremony to announce the the Old Towne Orange Plaza in Orange being named as one of this yr’s five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Affiliation’s annual Great Locations in America record in Orange on Thursday, October four, 2018. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Orange Metropolis Council members Mark A. Murphy, Mike Alvarez, Fred M. Whitaker, Kim Nichols and Mayor Teresa “Tita” Smith, from left, pose for a photograph with U.S. Rep. Lou Correa after a ceremony commemorating the Old Towne Orange Plaza being named one of this yr’s five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Affiliation’s annual Great Locations in America listing in Orange on Thursday, October four, 2018. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Members of the Orange Metropolis Council pay attention as Kurt Christiansen, President-Elect of the American Planning Affiliation, speaks throughout a ceremony commemorating the Old Towne Orange Plaza being named one of this yr’s five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Affiliation’s annual Great Locations in America record in Orange on Thursday, October four, 2018. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A placeholder exhibits the longer term location of a plaque commemorating the Old Towne Orange Plaza in Orange as one of this yr’s five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Affiliation’s annual Great Locations in America record throughout a ceremony to announce the popularity in Orange on Thursday, October four, 2018. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mayor Teresa “Tita” Smith speaks throughout a ceremony commemorating the Old Towne Orange Plaza in Orange as one of this yr’s five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Affiliation’s annual Great Locations in America listing in Orange on Thursday, October four, 2018. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mayor Teresa “Tita” Smith talks with Metropolis Supervisor Rick Otto after a ceremony commemorating the Old Towne Orange Plaza being named one of this yr’s five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Affiliation’s annual Great Locations in America listing in Orange on Thursday, October four, 2018. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Stella Johnson, 1, sits on her dad Ryan’s shoulders as they watch a ceremony to announce the the Old Towne Orange Plaza in Orange being named as one of this yr’s five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Affiliation’s annual Great Locations in America record in Orange on Thursday, October four, 2018. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Miss Metropolis of Orange Eileen Kim, 21, poses for a photograph subsequent to a larger-than-life mockup of the longer term plaque to be positioned subsequent to the fountain commemorating the Old Towne Orange Plaza as one of this yr’s five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Affiliation’s annual Great Locations in America record after a ceremony to announce the popularity in Orange on Thursday, October four, 2018. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Orange Metropolis Council members Mark A. Murphy, Mike Alvarez, Fred M. Whitaker, Kim Nichols and Mayor Teresa “Tita” Smith, from left, pose for a photograph with Kurt Christiansen, President-Elect of the American Planning Affiliation, proper, after a ceremony commemorating the Old Towne Orange Plaza being named one of this yr’s five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Affiliation’s annual Great Locations in America listing in Orange on Thursday, October four, 2018. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Kurt Christiansen, President-Elect of the American Planning Affiliation, left, helps Orange Metropolis Council members, together with Mark A. Murphy, middle, unveil a mockup of the plaque that will probably be put in close to the fountain to commemorate the Old Towne Orange Plaza being named one of this yr’s five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Affiliation’s annual Great Locations in America record in Orange on Thursday, October four, 2018. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

ORANGE — Those that’ve spent any time ambling in and across the Old Towne Orange Plaza already realize it’s a terrific public area.

Now the almost 150-year previous historic district in the guts of Orange has been formally acknowledged as such.

Tons of gathered in Plaza Park on Thursday, Oct. four, as Mayor Teresa Smith introduced that Old City Orange Plaza has earned official distinction as one of five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Affiliation’s Great Locations in America listing for 2018.

The respect is awarded to districts that keep cultural id, supply exemplary facilities and institute revolutionary practices inside their infrastructure.

The Plaza joins Central Park in New York, Olvera Road in Los Angeles and the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, which garnered Great Locations in America recognition in previous years.

“That’s just astonishing,” Smith stated. “Can you believe that?”

Located on the intersection of Chapman Avenue and Glassell Road, the pedestrian-friendly Plaza is surrounded by historic business buildings and is steps from Chapman College to the north and the Orange Transportation Middle to the west.

The annual Orange Worldwide Road Truthful, which started because the Orange Road Truthful in 1910, attracts hundreds of guests to the Plaza each Labor Day weekend.

The Plaza additionally hosts the town’s vacation tree lighting and menorah lighting ceremony in addition to automotive exhibits and meals festivals.

“This is where we gather to celebrate so many of our city events,” Smith stated.  “I’ve often referred to this space as the community’s living room or maybe better put, as Orange’s favorite family room.”

Configured in 1871, the Old Towne Orange Plaza sits in the guts of one of the oldest, most well-preserved historic districts in the state and has remained true to its unique imaginative and prescient because the cultural and social middle of the town.

The mayor recalled with disdain a interval through the 1970s when there was speak of demolishing the circle and turning the plaza right into a shopping center or high-rise business complicated.

At that time, a concerted grassroots effort was made to protect the Plaza, Smith stated.

By way of an effort led in half by Orange Group Historic Society, the Plaza was added to the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations in 1997.

“To our society members it is long overdo,” stated Adrienne Gladson, a member of the historic society who additionally serves on the town’s Planning Fee. “I see it as an opportunity to let the world know to come to Orange.”

Annually, the American Planning Affiliation places out a request for nominations for the Great Public Spaces honor, stated Orange’s Assistant Group Improvement Director Anna Pehoushek

To be thought-about, the general public area should respect historical past, be near neighborhoods, walkable and supply multi-modal transportation, Pehoushek stated.

Pehoushek made the case for the Plaza.

“I went through the criteria and I just thought, if we don’t win, who is going to win,” Pehoushek stated. “It’s really a thrill to get this recognition.”

Together with the Old City Orange Plaza, different districts incomes Great Public Spaces distinction in 2018 embrace: Mill River Park in Stamford, Conn.;  Aspen Pedestrian Mall in Aspen, Colo.; Public Sq. in Cleveland, Ohio; and RiversEdge at Marcum Park in Hamilton, Ohio.

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