In 1984, Brea City Hall Park in Brea, California, was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The Brea City Hall was built in 1928 and was designed by architect Allen Ruott. It is a blend of Art Deco and Spanish Colonial Revival style.
It housed the Brea Police Department and jail, as well as a public library.
The location lies near the original Downtown Brea and is one of the city’s oldest structures still standing.
Another contributing structure in the listing is an American Legion Hall, which was erected in 1931.
The Brea Lions Scout Center now occupies the rebuilt facility. The City Council ratified the agreement in 1994. For the first phase, the City of Brea contributed $200,000 and the Brea Lion Scout Foundation contributed $168,000.
Ruott also planned the bathhouse, swimming pool, and surrounding park as a whole. The NRHP nomination states that Ruott’s “use of Art Deco/Spanish Revival styling for civic architecture in the 1920s forms an important landmark in the small-scale urban setting of Brea and Orange County.”
The location has been partially altered since then, although much of the construction remains intact.
A $60,000 bond issued by the municipality in an October 1927 special election funded the park, pool, and city hall.
The “plunge” pool is a 25-meter municipal pool and one of the oldest swimming pools still in use in California.
Since the original park’s creation, new additions have included a basketball court, rose garden, and a playground, all of which were built in the 1970s.
In 1894, the Union Oil Company purchased 1,200 acres of property to look for oil. The first oil well was constructed in 1898, signaling the start of the oil boom in the Brea hills.
Brea was incorporated in 1917 and had 732 residents at the time.
The facilities served oil field workers and their families who lived in an adjacent neighborhood constructed by the Union Oil Company in the 1920s, among others. These houses are located to the west of the park, and some of them are still standing.
Until the recent erection of a new City Hall and Community Hub, as well as other civic structures, the location was planned to be the city’s center of local government. The City Hall and Park were planned and built during the Chicago World’s Fair, and they impacted city leaders in pushing for civic pride through architecture influenced by the City Beautiful Movement.
Next Point of Interest: Carbon Canyon Regional Park