Ongoing Historical Preservation

The Dana Point Historical Society continues to advocate the City of Dana Point’s program to formally acknowledge the collection of historic buildings that contribute to the eclectic visual character of the community and serve as reminders of Dana Point’s rich and colorful past, for the enrichment of current and future generations. Dana Point’s historic buildings give a sense continuity and security to the citizens of Dana Point.

See examples of historic homes which have achieved historic status by clicking here to view articles in the Orange County Register.

The basic historic preservation goals of the Society are to:

1. Advocate the preservation of historically significant buildings in the City of Dana Point and surrounding area that relate to Dana Point history. For example, the Dolph House has been rehabilitated according to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and is eligible for national recognition. The Doheny House is currently in danger due to developers’ request to demolish and rebuild multiple homes on the five-lot estate and in the process of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) due in large part to the Society’s efforts.

2. Acquire a museum to display the history of Dana Point including:

A. A historically significant collection of local historical photographs,

B. The Sidney H. Woodruff archives of the development of Dana Point , and

C. Support for the development of other cultural groups’ activities related to Dana Point History.

3. Encourage and help owners of historic homes to apply for the City of Dana Point Local Historic Register and Mills Act Tax abatement (reduction of property taxes to offset the cost of preserving/repairing a historic home.) Only 21 of a possible 75 or more buildings have been placed on the local Historic Register.

4. Continue a watchful concern regarding the preservation of historic commercial buildings throughout Dana Point. The Town Center Plan has nine historic commercial buildings located within the designated area that The Town Center Committee recommended for placement on the Local Historic Register due to DPHS advocacy. The Society wants to stop the attrition of historic commercial buildings in Dana Point . Examples of buildings that have been demolished include the Dana Villa, a large bluff home of a locally well known judge and the Captain’s Anchorage restaurant building where the Dana Point post office is now located. Capistrano Beach has also suffered a loss of Doheny buildings such as the Capistrano Beach Club. This is a precedent that threatens the remaining historic commercial buildings in Dana Point.

5. Continue promotion of the original Dana Point Lanterns for the:

A. Street illumination of Town Center and throughout Dana Point, and

B. Unique “signature lantern logo” of Dana Point as designed by Anna Walters and Sidney H. Woodruff, symbolic of the historic story of Dana Point development.

6. Preserve the original sidewalk designs, stamped with installation dates, as well as the street curbs with stamped dates (c. 1928-1930s) and original lantern foundations wherever possible

7. Continue to build awareness of our history and the importance of historic buildings of Dana Point through:

A. Society displays at public venues and city events,

B. Society participation in public events,

C. Annual Dana Point Historical Society Home Tours highlighting historic homes and/or homes of significant architecture or of prominent citizens,

D. Production of the story of “Dana Point: My Home Town” a DVD to teach local third graders about the history. of Dana Point,

E. Advocacy of historic statues and signage throughout Dana Point commemorating important events such as the arrival of Richard H. Dana, a Pirate Raid, Surfing History, Ann Walter’s Blue Lantern Gazebo Lookout, and the Sidney Woodruff Development, and

F. Establishment of a publicly marked historic walk through “Town Center.”

Copyright ~ Barbara Johannes ~ 2009 ~ All Rights Reserved

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