Artist Renditions of the 'New' Fourth Street for Santa Ana: Bye-Bye, Virgin of Guadalupe!

fourthstreetvirgindeguadalupe.jpg
Adiós, morenita...
Earlier this week, someone mailed me a package with no name on the envelope, no return address--nothing. I like those! Inside were architectural drawings and a note saying these were the plans that the developers currently ripping up Fourth Street in SanTana to de-Mexify it have in store for the future of the strip.

Goodie! Only problem is the plans didn't specify which buildings were which--but I figured them out. Compare Calle Cuatro with the "renaissance" that is the new Fourth Street after the jump!
oldyost.jpg
The first picture we'll examine is looking north on the intersection of Spurgeon and Third streets. The building at the right is the historic Yost Theater, the structure infamously stolen by the city from the Olivos family back in the mid-1980s. And look at that Mexican in Stetson on the bike cycling down Third! Let's call him the Ghost of Calle Cuatro because his ilk are disappearing from the scene. Now, the proposed renaissance:

newyost.jpg
The view is directly under the marquee of the Yost. Where there were once gazebos, shade and a carousel will now be sterile park benches like in the Artists Village and an ornate fountain--just like the one in the Artists Village. Wonder if that'll cost taxpayers half a million dollars as well?

And notice the white spot near the exact center of the illustration? With the vestiges of a railing? Here, let me blow it up:
fourthstreetvirginofguadalupe.jpg

Right now, that spot is occupied by a tiled mosaic of the Virgin of Guadalupe that has watched over Calle Cuatro for years, the very Empress of the Americas at the top of this post. Is it going to get disappeared, or was its exclusion from the plans an honest Brave New Urbanist oversight? Enquiring minds want to know!

Next up is the view looking north on Bush Street from Fourth Street. This is how it roughly looks now:
oldfourthstreet.jpg

Now, the renaissance:

newfourthstreet.jpg

Look, I'm all for removing fraudulent Mission Revival-style architecture from the county, and I think we can all agree stucco should disappear from the Earth, but the above design replaces that cliché with a loft look--indeed, my first reaction was that they look like the cousins of the Santiago Lofts, and those look like the lofts I saw in the gentrifying parts of Denver. And those lofts look like some I've seen in Los Angeles. And those . . . you get the picture. And that two-story window thing (sorry, I'm not an architecture geek) that replaced the mock bell tower looks like part of the design scheme at Chapman University--and I don't mean that in a kind way.

Finally, a look south on Spurgeon and Fourth. This is an older shot because the carousel is still in it.

oldbuildingsantaana.jpg

The renaissance:

newbuildingsantaana.jpg

What happened to Mariscos Tampico? Does it know it's at the very least going to lose its sign? Can I get the phone number of the chick in the daisy dukes and chaps in the center? And why do I get the nagging feeling I've seen this building before--did I see this design at a Walgreen's? A Shoe City? Wait . . . that looks like Chapman!

Sorry, Brave New Urbanists, but what ustedes are proposing is as sterile as a scalpel before open-heart surgery. This is the "renaissance" for downtown? I might as well venture to Aliso Viejo.

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12 comments
junior
junior

It would be a nice gesture for the developers to preserve the tiled mosaic of the Virgin of Guadalupe that has watched over Calle Cuatro for years.

YAY!!!
YAY!!!

I for one say BRAVO to the proposed plans. There is no explicit or implicit right that any renewal/revival plan be 'Mexified' to use your term. What this area sorely needs is a REASON for its residents to be proud of the area as well as inviting to other Orange County residents. What you have now, is a run down 'business district'...and I put that in quotes as its really not a business district at all...that does not speak to anyone that doesn't know Spanish. What this leads to is an area that seems to be indifferent at best to petty to serious crimes against its own. What is the most glaring example? Graffiti and trash/litter. While not completely eradicated from some areas you mock like Aliso Viejo, its not even close when you compare this metric to Santa Ana. Why? People tend to leave nice places alone. Even that A-Hole tagger that leaves is 'VS' calling card in the area would probably think twice before etching another window. People don't want to be the first person to drop litter in a pristine place. You don't get that from downtown Santa Ana because its residents and customers live in a subpar, neglected area.

Perhaps this living/working condition is OK with you but other businesses and residents WON'T want to come and serve or live in the area. And all you will ever have is a subpar Food4Less and Gonzales Market for food, dozens of cheap jewelry, beauty salons, and wedding/quinceanera dress shops...which might I add are going out of business lately...taco trucks literally on every corner all day long, All you'll have is run down 5 story condo and apartment buildings (that are priced so low because no one wants to buy it btw) with clothes and satellite dishes hanging from balconies.

After Santa Ana rethought their old slogan...which was a bit of a joke ('Education First' for those that don't remember)...and adopted a very doable one in 'Downtown Orange County', it is to EVERYONE'S benefit for the leaders of Santa Ana to take this opportunity to be courageous and do what is right for the long term vision for the city. You can't embrace what the city was 50...75...100 years ago and watch every other surrounding city improve, grow, and attract businesses and residents. Anaheim, Orange, Fullerton, Garden Grove...none of which are bastions of the master planned tract home filled society that you so fear...have done amazingly well in the last 10 years alone. The downtown areas of Long Beach, San Diego, San Jose, Hollywood (although technically not a city), Los Angeles, East Palo Alto, Fresno have ALL transformed from a crime ridden, undesireable area to a place where people want to go. You just can't argue with results. Don't be afraid man...the Gap isn't on every corner in these cities and it won't be in Santa Ana.

Thedudd
Thedudd

Just so you are aware- there is nothing secretive about this. And as usual Gustavo, your crack pot investigative skills are incorrect and incomplete. this is a project being funded the private owners of all of those buildings not the City of Santa Ana. and We have no idea if the owners excepted those architectural plans or not. So try not to condemn the and accuse of gentrification your beloved city- they one where you have never held residence.Try some real journalism sometime.

gabriel san roman
gabriel san roman

FUGLY! So this is the re-birth, eh? Looks more like the messy 'afterbirth' stuff. How do you say that in French?

Mico
Mico

Now that I look at the scene closer, with the exception of a couple of "payasos" Everyone is looking at the buttocks of that chick with the chaps. Either you photo shopped that or someone connected with city--s.a. is doing some manipulating sexual mind control on us. Wait, is that an apparition of the the "virgen" in the trees? Do you see it? left and above the chaps. O.M.G.

Mico
Mico

Did you get that chick with the chaps # yet. W.T.F? You photo shopped that in didn't you?

Mico
Mico

I have a Virgin of Guadalupe painting for them. It is hanging in the window of Platinum Ink across from the Santora. It depicts God as a puny fly being sucked into the vortex of the Virgin's fly trap crown. If people knew what it meant it would piss off brown and white people equally. Hang it in that plaza.

It's in the Way
It's in the Way

Hey, all that old stuff needs to go so Miguel can get his trolley up in here. And once he gets his trolley, he'll need all new businesses to fund his next mayoral run.Then those businesses will need the lighter skinned payasos to ride that train in and populate this virtual Utopia, spending those south county dollars as they soak up the ambiance of a now more familiar territory.Apparently sterile = hip and trendy, while cultural and historic = well, it doesn't matter what it equals if it's gone.

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

For once, I might have to agree with you -- it is sterile looking. Give it some style. (Beaners on bikes don't count as style.)

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

...who are receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in subsidies from said city. Try English next time!

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Nope, that chica was put in by those architectural wizards!

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