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City of Santa Ana
Friday March 3rd, 2017 :: 11:11 a.m. PST


Downtown “Calliotree” Art Project to Honor Story of City’s Founding

In 1869, William H. Spurgeon climbed a sycamore tree to get his first real glimpse at the 74 acres he had just purchased in the Santa Ana Valley. At the time, the area was so densely covered with mustard and sycamore trees that Mr. Spurgeon could not get an adequate view of the land from his horse. When he looked out over the land from the tree, he fell in love with what we now know as the City of Santa Ana and the County of Orange. Many Santa Ana residents are familiar with this story; however, fewer may be aware that a sycamore tree still marks the spot of the City’s founding – located at the intersection of 5th and Sycamore Streets in Downtown.

The Downtown “Calliotree” art project hopes to change this by activating the historic site in conjunction with the Downtown Santa Ana ArtWalk, which is held on the first Saturday of each month. The “Calliotree," according to the project creators, “is inspired by the Calliope, a uniquely American instrument invented at the same time Santa Ana was founded. A calliope works via a network of steam-powered pipes (think circus music) played by a keyboard organ. The Calliotree combines a sycamore tree, digital arts, music, human touch, and a downtown sidewalk. The sycamore tree will be covered in a nervous system of smart lights that synchronize with music, creating a 20-foot tall light and sound show.”

To learn more about the project, please visit or

City of Santa Ana
20 Civic Center Plaza
Santa Ana, CA 92701

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Non-emergencies: 714-647-5200

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