Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Twist-Basler Home of Santa Ana

Twist-Basler Home Santa AnaThe following is a request for information from Dolores Ramos, of the City of Santa Ana, Parks, Recreation & Community Services Agency, regarding the Twist-Basler Home

The historic Twist-Basler home is scheduled to be relocated to the City of Santa Ana's Cabrillo Park is slated to occur in late Spring 2007 as the result of a referendum that was passed in April 2005 allowing the construction of the One Broadway Plaza project, a 37-story office tower in downtown Santa Ana. The City of Santa Ana imposed on the developer a condition that, in order to construct One Broadway Plaza Project, the Twist-Basler House, a historical property located at the proposed One Broadway Plaza project site, would have to be relocated at the developer's expense.

As you may know, the Twist-Basler House was built in 1914 by prominent Orange County contractor Christopher McNeill and purchased in 1922 by Dr. Jess Burlew, an eminent Orange County physician and surgeon who had received part of his medical education from the Mayo Brothers. He sold the house in 1944 to Herman and Virginia Basler, who converted it into one of the first proprietary convalescent homes in Orange County.

I'm currently trying to research the history of the Twist-Basler House and its former owners and residents as part of a grant application for its restoration. In particular, I’m seeking information regarding Dr. Jess Burlew, the Baslers, and former patients or visitors of the Basler Convalescent Home. I have found only limited information regarding Dr. Burlew and the Baslers (I am planning to visit the Santa Ana Historical Book Room), and am seeking more references. I would also be interested in hearing the stories of former patients at the Basler Convalescent Home, either directly or through their survivors and/or friends or family that visited them during their stay there - what their life in Orange County was like at the time, what brought them to the home, what life in the home was like, etc. there is a possibility that some former residents may be highlighted in interpretive materials to be installed in the home as part of the grant.

Any help or leads that you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to contact me at the email or number below, should you have any questions.

Dolores Ramos
Parks, Recreation & Community Services Agency
City of Santa Ana
(714) 571-4274 direct
(714) 571-4235 fax

There's a 4-page document in Microsoft Word format that provides more information about the Twist-Basler home. Download here: twist-basler-home.doc (241Kb)


  1. All property records for O.C. from 1889 to 1953 are held at the Orange County Archives.

    We're located about a block away from the Basler Home, in the Old O.C. Courthouse.

    Please do drop by (bringing whatever information you already have) and we'll see what we can do to help with your research.

    Our number is (714) 834-2434.

  2. The EIR for the One Broadway Plaza project has a lot of this information. You can find them at the Planning Department in City Hall.

    Hally Soboleske


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