Come to the Santora Building’s 1920’s-themed Birthday Bash!


And THIS came from our Santa Ana artist friends – what a busy weekend it’s gonna be, for adventurers and rebels!

July 5, 2012


Contact: Alicia Rojas
Phone: 714 907 5468

On Saturday, July 7th, the Santora Arts Building will celebrate 84 years with a 1920’s-inspired themed celebration! This will kick-off a month-long celebration highlighting the history of the building from 1928 to the present.

Showcased will be a dazzling array of FINE ART, MUSIC, CARS, FILM, and FASHIONS of a bygone era, as well as a tour of old-time “speakeasys” like Proof, that still stand today!

JULY 7 – A ROARING 20’S ERA OPEN HOUSE featuring Live Music, Fine Art, Deco-inspired Costumes and other nostalgic touches. Meet the 2012 King of the Santora!

6pm 1920’s Boudoir Fashion Show -Presented by
D & A Street Runways
“featuring students from Santa Ana College”
7:00pm -Santora Award Ceremony
7:30pm – Toast and Cake Cutting – Cake by Moya’s Bakery
8:30pm -Live Music by Hedgehog Swing Band And
Artificial Integrity – OCHSA Students
** BUST LOOSE on the SANTORA dance floor **
Featuring DJ Court Pedestrian

* Come as your favorite silent film star or 1920’s era legend! *

Visit our Art Galleries and Art Studios!

Basement Galleries
ste B4 – Green Door Gallery
ste B6b – The Art Bar
ste B6a – Suzie Voung
ste B6a2 – Chuntana Art Society at R.E.D. Gallery
ste B7b – Avantgarden – The Art Gallery
ste B10 – Seven 1Four Underground Studio
ste B11 – Studio del Sontano

Street Level

Atilano Salon and Gallery

2nd Floor
ste B – Bee Regal Gallery
ste E – Raven Studios
ste E – Gallery 207
ste G – Joseph Hawa
ste I – Tweena’s Tunes
ste K – Crescendoh
ste Q – SAC Art Gallery

Matt Southgate hard at work!


Groundbreaking for the SANTORA building was on July 7th, 1928. Combining the names Santa Ana and Orange, the Santora Building was built by the Santora Land Company. One of the premier architects of the region, Frank Lansdowne, designed the building to embody the character and luxury of its time. It had ten retail stores and an entrance on the first floor, 20 shops and a large lobby on the second floor and a full basement. Following the Long Beach Earthquake in 1933, the building served as city hall for two years while its repairs were completed.

Back in the 30’s, large interior windows looked in on upscale retail and office tenants. There was a jazz club in the basement and Daninger’s tea room occupied the second floor, southwest corner from 1934 until 1944.
The restaurant was a “must see” for visitors and celebrities from up and down the coast. Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Gracie Allen, George Burns, Lucille Ball, and others signed the Daninger’s guest book. As did Rosalind Russel, Cesar Romero, and Linda Darnell when they “evidently came to Orange County to perform for troops at military installations.” 1.

The SANTORA has survived the Great Depression and the 1933 earthquake; it has been in decline, considered a “grande dame…on the most blighted block in the whole area,” and was resurrected through the efforts of Henry Stotsenberg in the mid 1970’s who bought the building for $140,000.00 He redid electrical and plumbing systems, scraped years of pigeon droppings of the skylights, hired someone to peel up the gray-green linoleum from the solid oak floors, cleaned off paint from solid brass doorknobs and brass room numbers. With an influx of investors from Hawaii, Stotsenberg further improved the building with the vision of turning the whole block surrounding the SANTORA into “something similar to Lido Village in Newport Beach.” 2.

After a period of decline in Santa Ana’s downtown the SANTORA resurged as an ARTS COMPLEX. In late 1994 and early 1995, studio artists began renting the empty, undesirable basement spaces. They brought with them the enthusiasm and energy of the arts. In July of 1995, the first SANTORA Open House was held, and in 1997 the Art Walks were formalized. Among the artists to move into the second floor was Joseph Musil and his Salon of the Art Deco Theaters. Musil was a set designer for the Walt Disney Company and worked on the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood. He maintained his upstairs salon until his death on June 28. 2010.

At the present time Mike Harrah owns the SANTORA. Harrah has been called Santa Ana’s patron saint of the arts…opening the OC Pavilion Performing Arts Center in 2006, transforming a former bank building into a state of the arts music venue…as well as restoring a vacant building for the Orange County School of the Arts. In addition to “bringing the London Bridge across the Atlantic then reassembling it in the middle of the Arizona desert to flying his own attack helicopter in the movies…”Harrah continues to pursue his “master plan to redevelop downtown Santa Ana.” 3.

Although recent plans to sell the Santora have fallen through, the artists continue to hope that “an arts-friendly investor will commit to securing the building’s future as an anchor for arts-based revitalization in the heart of Santa Ana.” 4.

1. LA TIMES September 23, 1976
2. LA TIMES September 23, 1976
Orange County Business Journal
September 19-25, 2005
Newport Coast Concours
4. Voice of OC June 12,2012

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.