Sometimes, if you're going to save a place, you have to chop it up in pieces, move it, and then put it back together. Hence, the Heritage Square.
But unlike similar squares in LA and Bakersfield, Oxnard's Heritage Square has no locked gates, and no admission fee.
Its relocated historic homes and other turn-of-the-century structures aren't vacant and locked. The former pump house has transformed into a visitor's center.
And if you're lucky, you might encounter the apparition of a nice Victorian lady who'll unlock any locked doors for you.
All restored to or close to their original condition (replacing broken windows and repainting exteriors in more modern color schemes), there are 11 homes total that occupy a large block of Historic Downtown Oxnard.
The former homes of Oxnard's first families now house businesses as diverse as produce...
...a hair salon, spa, and even an orthodontist's office.
The on-site chapel began as a Congregational church and then evolved into more multi-denominational ceremonies.
In its current location, it retains its original stained glass in the back of the sanctuary...
...which is now used for meetings, events and performances.
The grounds are maintained by a homeowner's association, and the business owners actually own their historic buildings and maintain them.
It's so lovely to have something like this open to the public in the center of the town. And if you can't find it by all those whimsical and elegant dollhouses (and one California Craftsman), just look for the water tower.
Photo Essay: Doheny's Other Mansion