Mission San Juan Capistrano celebrates street name change

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By Collin Breaux

Mission San Juan Capistrano is now located on a new street.

The portion of the Ortega Highway across from the Mission was renamed Old Mission Road. The Mission and City of San Juan Capistrano celebrated the name change on Wednesday, October 12 at the historic site.

The new street name is official after a City Council action point introduced earlier this year by Mayor Derek Reeve urged the city to rename the street in reference to the Mission. Reeve said he and the mission’s executive director, Mechelle Lawrence Adams, discussed a street name change years ago.

Mission San Juan Capistrano Executive Director Mechelle Lawrence Adams speaks about the significance of the site and working with the city during a ceremony celebrating the renaming of Old Mission Road in front of the Mission on Wednesday, October 12. Photo: Collin Breaux

“She said there really should be the word ‘Mission,'” Reeve said. “It was a very good idea. I always remembered that.”

The street was renamed so that the Mission could be more easily found by people and identified.

“We won’t be turning Ortega to Ortega again, and we’re all grateful for that,” Pro Tem Mayor Howard Hart said.

Adams said it was wonderful to work with the city on the name change.

“It’s a good day at the Mission when you have city officials, our board members, our volunteers and our community at large, (and) our staff to celebrate a respectful change in the past,” said said Adams.

Adams also thanked the Mission Preservation Foundation for pushing her to advocate for ways to remind the community of the importance of Mission.

Among a set of potential new street names, Old Mission Road was recommended by the San Juan Capistrano Cultural Heritage Commission – a name according to Hart was suggested by Adams at the annual installation and awards banquet of the Chamber of Commerce in July.

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