By Collin Breaux
Mission San Juan Capistrano is now located on a new street.
The portion of Ortega Highway in front of the Mission has been renamed Old Mission Road. The Mission and City of San Juan Capistrano celebrated the renaming on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the historic site.
The new street name is official after a City Council action item introduced earlier this year by Mayor Derek Reeve urged the city to rename the street in reference to the Mission. Reeve said he and Mission Executive Director Mechelle Lawrence Adams discussed a street renaming years ago.
“She said it really should have the word ‘Mission’ in it,” Reeve said. “It was a very good idea. I always remembered that.”
The street was renamed so the Mission can be more easily found by people and identified.
“No longer will we be turning from Ortega onto Ortega, and we’re all grateful for that,” Mayor Pro Tem Howard Hart said.
Adams said it was wonderful to work with the city on the renaming.
“It’s a good day at the Mission when you have city officials and our board members and our volunteers and our community at large, (and) our staff in celebration of change that’s respectful of the past,” Adams said.
Adams also thanked the Mission Preservation Foundation, which pushes her to advocate for ways to remind the community of the Mission’s importance.
From a pool of potential new street names, Old Mission Road was recommended by the San Juan Capistrano Cultural Heritage Commission—a name Hart said was suggested by Adams during the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Installation and Awards Banquet in July.
Collin Breaux covers San Juan Capistrano and other South Orange County news as the City Editor for The Capistrano Dispatch. Before moving to California, he covered Hurricane Michael, politics and education in Panama City, Florida. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.