Anaheim Packing District

  • The Anaheim Packing District is a three-parcel site with two significant historic buildings that is part of the Colony Historic District in Anaheim, the oldest city in Orange County, California. The Anaheim Citrus Packing House, the last remaining packing house in the city, was originally home to the Sunkist Company. Built in 1911 at the edge of downtown Anaheim and along the Southern Pacific rail line, the Packing House, which is listed on the National Historic Register, was a hub of commerce for the area. Local farmers arrived to unload trucks of freshly picked citrus to begin the process of washing, grading and eventual packing into wooden crates. Once completed, the crated and labeled citrus would be loaded onto rail cars parked on the side of the building to be shipped nationwide.

    Although unlisted on the National Historic Register, the Packard Building is considered a locally significant historic structure and was formerly a Packard car showroom. This mission revival building was built in 1925 and was designed with an open and light filled interior typical of car showrooms. Both the Packard Building and the Packing House are reminders of southern California’s agricultural and transportation heritage as well as examples of the mission revival architectural style that were popular in Southern California at the time.

    The empty lot between the two buildings is being redeveloped along with the two historic structures to create a unified three-block retail, restaurant and market oriented district that is part of the City of Anaheim’s master plan for revitalizing the downtown area of the city. Ken Smith Landscape Architect collaborated with a multi-disciplinary design team, retail developers and city officials to create an urban district that preserves the historic structures while making adaptive reuse improvements and creating a landscape oriented setting linking together indoor and outdoor use areas. The team worked closely with historic preservation consultants and SHPO (State Historic Preservation Office) officials to sensitively integrate new uses into the historic structures. The design and material vocabulary of new improvements emphasizes durable historic materials such as wood, steel and concrete. A historic rail spur was recreated and two flat bed cars were installed in a historically correct location to be used as outdoor dining terraces for the building’s restaurants.

    The project includes six outdoor dining terraces, two outdoor fireplaces a lawn area, seating and substantial plantings. Plantings include Valencia Orange and other agricultural related plants such as grape, olive and rosemary, community vegetable plots and a palette of native and adapted plants to the California climate. Shade structures were incorporated into the design to provide comfort as part of the sustainability program for the project. Porous joint paving for storm water infiltration and dark sky lighting were other components of the sustainability features.

    ROLE OF KSLA: Ken Smith Landscape Architect, 
    Irvine CA office
    Site and Landscape Design 
    through construction administration.

    The project team included:
    City of Anaheim - Owner
    The LAB Holding - Retail Developer
    Brookfield Homes - Historic Buildings 
    Restoration Developer
    30th Street Architects – Architect for 
    Historic Buildings Restoration
    MASS Architecture - 
    Architect of Restaurant Pavilion
    Tom Kundig, Olson Kundig Architects - 
    Architect of Restaurant Pavilion
    Fuscoe Engineering – Civil Engineering
    Structural Focus – Structural Engineering
    Linwood Engineering - MEP

    TIMELINE: 2010-2013

    PROJECT OWNER City of Anaheim 
    in cooperation with the LAB Holding

    REFERENCE: Kerry Kemp
    Community Investment Manager
    Community Development Department
    201 South Anaheim Blvd., Suite 1003
    Anaheim, CA 92805

    Shaheen Sadeghi, Founder
    LAB Holding Co.
    709 Randolph Ave.
    Costa Mesa, California 92626