Santa Ana is the county seat and second most populous city in Orange County, California. The United States Census Bureau estimated its 2011 population at 329,427, making Santa Ana the 57th most-populous city in the United States.
Santa Ana is located in Southern California, adjacent to the Santa Ana River, about 10 miles (16 km) away from the California coast. Founded in 1869, the city is part of the Greater Los Angeles Area, the second largest metropolitan area in the United States with almost 18 million residents in 2010. Santa Ana is a very densely populated city, ranking fourth nationally in that regard among cities of over 300,000 residents (trailing only New York City, San Francisco, and Boston). In 2011 Forbes ranked Santa Ana the fourth-safest city of over 250,000 residents in the United States.
Santa Ana lends its name to the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5), which runs through the city. It also shares its name with the nearby Santa Ana Mountains, and the Santa Ana winds, which have historically fueled seasonal wildfires throughout Southern California. The current Office of Management and Budget (OMB) metropolitan designation for the Orange County Area is Santa Ana%uFFFDAnaheim%uFFFDIrvine, California.
Members of the Tongva and Juane Luise are indigenous to the area. The Tongva called the Santa Ana area "Hotuuk."
After the 1769 expedition of Gaspar de Portol%uFFFD out of Mexico City, then capitol of New Spain, Friar Jun%uFFFDpero Serra named the area Vallejo de Santa Ana (Valley of Saint Anne, or Santa Ana Valley). On November 1, 1776, Mission San Juan Capistrano was established within this valley. This Santa Ana Valley comprised most of what is now called Orange County.
In 1810, year of the commencement of the war of Mexican Independence (1810-1821), Jose Antonio Yorba, a sergeant of the Spanish army, was granted land that he called Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. Yorba's rancho included the lands where the cities of Olive, Orange, Irvine, Yorba Linda, Villa Park, Santa Ana, Tustin, Costa Mesa and unincorporated El Modena, and Santa Ana Heights, are today. This rancho was the only land grant in Orange County granted under Spanish Rule. Surrounding land grants in Orange County were granted after Mexican Independence by the new government.
Santa Ana, 1887
Santa Ana, 1891
Old Santa Ana City Hall, built 1935
After the Mexican-American war ended in 1848, Alta California became part of the United States and American settlers arrived in this area.
Claimed in 1869 by Kentuckian William H. Spurgeon on land obtained from the descendents of Jose Antonio Yorba, Santa Ana was incorporated as a city in 1886 with a population of 2000 and in 1889 became the seat of the newly formed Orange County.
In 1877, the Southern Pacific Railroad built a branch line from Los Angeles to Santa Ana, which offered free right of way, land for a depot, and $10,000 in cash to the railroad in exchange for terminating the line in Santa Ana and not neighboring Tustin. In 1887, the California Central Railway (which became a subsidiary of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway the following year) broke the Southern Pacific's local monopoly on rail travel, offering service between Los Angeles and San Diego by way of Santa Ana as a major intermediate station. By 1905 the Los Angeles Interurban Railway, a predecessor to the Pacific Electric Railway, extended from Los Angeles to Santa Ana, running along Fourth Street downtown. Firestone Boulevard, the first direct automobile route between Los Angeles and Santa Ana, opened in 1935; it was enlarged into the Santa Ana Freeway in 1953.
Santa Ana was the home of the original Glenn L. Martin aviation company, founded in 1912 before merging with the Wright Company in 1916. Later, Glenn Luther Martin created a second company of the same name in Cleveland, Ohio which eventually merged with the Lockheed Corporation to form the largest defense contractor in the world, Lockheed Martin.
During World War II, the Santa Ana Army Air Base was built as a training center for the United States Army Air Forces. The base was responsible for continued population growth in Santa Ana and the rest of Orange County as many veterans moved to the area to raise families after the end of the war.
In 1958, Fashion Square Mall was built, adjoining the existing Bullock's Department Store building that was built in 1954. It opened north of downtown and became a major retail center for the area. In 1987, the mall was completely renovated and became MainPlace Mall (now Westfield MainPlace).
Having been a Charter City since November 11, 1952, the citizens of Santa Ana amended the Charter November 1988 to provide for the direct election of the Mayor who until that point had been appointed from the council membership. The current mayor of Santa Ana is Miguel A. Pulido, the first mayor of Latino descent in the city's history and in fact, the first Mayor directly elected by the voters.
Since the 1980s, Santa Ana has been characterized by an effort to revitalize the downtown area which had declined in influence. The Santa Ana Artist's Village was created around Cal State Fullerton's Grand Central Art Center to attract artists and young professionals to live-work lofts and new businesses. The process has continued into 2009 with the reopening of the historic Yost Theater.
Santa Ana is located at 33%uFFFD44'27?N 117%uFFFD52'53?W? / ?33.74083%uFFFDN 117.88139%uFFFDW (33.740717, -117.881408).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.5 square miles (71 km2). 27.3 square miles (71 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (0.90%) is water. It is the 4th most densely populated place in the United States with a population of 300,000 or more with 12,471.5 people per sq. mile.
Santa Ana is nested on flat, low-lying plains with little land elevation change. Running through the west end of the city is the mostly channelized Santa Ana River, which is also largely seasonal due to the construction of the Prado Dam and Seven Oaks Dam. The river has caused several severe floods in the 20th century, and is a continued threat despite the existence of the dams.
Now fully developed, Santa Ana has several distinct districts. The core of the city is the downtown area, which contains both retail and housing, as well as the Santa Ana Civic Center which is a dense campus of administrative buildings for both the city and the county of Orange. The civic center is also home to the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse. Several historic homes dating from the late 1800s can be found as well, and their preservation is a key issue as development of the downtown area continues.
North of downtown is the "Midtown" district along Main St., home to entertainment destinations such as the Bowers Museum, MainPlace Mall, and the Discovery Science Center.
Near the intersection of the Santa Ana Freeway and the Costa Mesa Freeway is the newly designated "Metro East" area, which the city council has envisioned as a secondary mixed-use development district. Currently the area is occupied by several office towers, but little retail or housing. Also on the east side of the city is the Santa Ana Zoo, notable for its collection of monkeys and species from South and Central America.
The south end of the city is part of the South Coast Metro area, which is shared with the city of Costa Mesa. South Coast Plaza, a major shopping center, is the primary destination of this area, which also contains several high-rise office and apartment buildings.
Santa Ana experiences a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (K%uFFFDppen: Csa), with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The summer months of June to September average a daytime high of 83 %uFFFDF (28.3 %uFFFDC) and a nighttime low of 63 %uFFFDF (17.2 %uFFFDC). The winter months of December to March average a daytime high of 70 %uFFFDF (21.1 %uFFFDC)and a nighttime low of 48 %uFFFDF (8.9 %uFFFDC). Rainfall averages about 13.6 in (345 mm) per year, most of which falls from November through April. There are an average of 36 days with measurable precipitation annually.
The record high temperature for Santa Ana was 112 %uFFFDF (44 %uFFFDC) on June 14, 1917. The record low temperature was 22 %uFFFDF (-6 %uFFFDC) on December 31, 1918, and January 1, 1919. There are an average of 25.6 days with highs of 90 %uFFFDF (32 %uFFFDC) or higher and an average of 0.2 days with lows of 32 %uFFFDF (0 %uFFFDC) or lower.
The wettest year in Santa Ana was 1941 with 32.36 inches (822 mm) and the driest year was 1961 with 3.55 inches (9.0 cm). The most rainfall in one month was 13.99 inches (35.5 cm) in February 1998. The most rainfall in 24 hours was 4.69 inches (119 mm) on February 16, 1927.
|Climate data for Santa Ana, California|
|Record high %uFFFDF (%uFFFDC)
|Average high %uFFFDF (%uFFFDC)
|Average low %uFFFDF (%uFFFDC)
|Record low %uFFFDF (%uFFFDC)
|Precipitation inches (mm)
|Avg. precipitation days (= 0.01 in)
|Source: NOAA (normals 1981%uFFFD2010, extremes 1916%uFFFDpresent)
Santa Ana is the corporate headquarters of several companies including Behr Paint, CoreLogic, Corinthian Colleges, First American Corporation, Greenwood & Hall, Ingram Micro, The Orange County Register, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, STEC, TTM Technologies, beverage company Kern's, and Wahoo's Fish Taco. It also houses major regional headquarters for the Xerox corporation, Ultimate Software Ultimate Software, and T-Mobile. Nonprofits based in Santa Ana include Open Doors.
One of Santa Ana's most notable businesses is the Rickenbacker musical instrument company, whose electric guitars and bass guitars earned fame in the hands of many rock and roll legends.
Then Glenn L. Martin Company, a precursor to Lockheed Martin, was founded in Santa Ana in 1912 before merging with the Wright Company in 1916.
In recent years, the nearby city of Irvine has outpaced Santa Ana in commercial growth, with the Irvine Business District located near John Wayne Airport. To compete with this, Santa Ana has approved commercial projects in the South Coast Metro area, as well as the "Metro East" development, located at the confluence of the Santa Ana Freeway and the Costa Mesa Freeway.
The Historic South Main Business District contains many older retail shops and other small businesses. It extends from downtown Santa Ana southwards on Main Street to the South Coast Metro area.
According to the City's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
Arts and culture
Santa Ana has a number of parks that provide an improved quality of life for the residents. Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm amusement parks are located northeast of Santa Ana, several kilometers away. Beaches are located around 20 minutes to the south, accessible by the 55 freeway. Huntington Beach and Newport Beach as well as other coastal communities offer world-class shopping, dining, boating, swimming and surfing opportunities.
Sites of interest
Santa Ana has several wall paintings and murals depicting local history, community events and cultural diversity in Orange County.
- Riverview Golf Course
- Willowick Municipal Golf Course
- Pacific Electric Sub-Station No. 14
- Southern (D), Builders Exchange Building
- Ronald W Reagan Federal Courthouse
- Newhope Branch Santa Ana Public Library
- Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House
- Bowers Museum of Cultural Art
- Santa Ana City Hall
- Santa Ana Public Library
- Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center
- McFadden Branch Santa Ana Public Learning Center
- Santora Building
- Heritage Museum of Orange County (Kellogg House)
- Old Orange County Courthouse
- Rankin Building
- Dexter's Chomp House
- Zawiya Perspective
City Stadium, 2007
Santa Ana is home to some of the most successful sports high school and collegiate sports teams in the nation. Mater Dei High School has one of the most successful and reputable American football programs in the country.The Dons of Santa Ana College are one of the most successful soccer teams in the state of California, and is a frequent top finisher, statewide.In 2008, the Dons clinched their fifteenth consecutive Orange Empire Conference title. The college is also known for its historically successful baseball teams.
Santa Ana Unified School District includes thirty-seven K%uFFFD5 elementary schools, nine 6%uFFFD8 intermediate schools, eight 9%uFFFD12 high schools, five special schools, and one charter school. Some elementary schools are: John Adams Elementary School, Manuel Esqueda Elementary School, Diamond Elementary School. The school district provides an online accountability report card.
Santa Ana Unified School District's public high schools include Valley High School (Santa Ana), Middle College High School, Santa Ana High School, Saddleback High School, Century High School, newly opened Segerstrom Fundamental High School and Godinez Fundamental High School, and other public schools in the area, along with the Orange County High School of the Arts in the midtown district.
The Roman Catholic Diocese operates Mater Dei High School. The Diocese also operates several K%uFFFD8 schools in Santa Ana, including School of Our Lady, Saint Anne, Saint Barbara, and Saint Joseph. (Immaculate Heart Of Mary And Our Lady Of the Pillar schools were closed in 2005 and merged into the School of Our Lady, which is located at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.
The city is home to Santa Ana College, a two-year public community college, as well as California Coast University, and the Orange County branch of the Art Institute of California. Taft Law School a correspondence law school is also based in Santa Ana. Trinity Law School is a Christian, CBE-accredited law school that is the only California campus of the Trinity International University system of schools. Detective Training Institute is a correspondence/distance learning institution that offers private investigator diplomas and is approved to operate by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. Career Networks Institute College is a post secondary occupational learning center for allied health is also based in the city.