Our Story

It started in the rubble of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Buildings that hadn’t collapsed during the quake were quickly demolished. Businesses were moved into tents in the open spaces available. The streets were ripped up for infrastructure repair. Downtown was facing serious economic hardship. 

In the aftermath my good friend, Dr. David Farberow, and I decided to invest our savings and our futures in the recovery of Downtown Santa Cruz. A vacant lot appeared where Penniman Title and United Sagar once stood. Joining with other partners, we were able to buy this empty space and eventually design and build a building located on the alleyway known as Plaza Lane.

Plaza Lane Optometry was born in November of 1995. Our mission has always been to provide eye care for our patients as if they were family. That mission has sustained us over the years and continues to make it a pleasure to come to work knowing that I will visit with “family” that I have known for decades in some cases. 

In 2013 Dr. Farberow and I made one of the best and most important decisions of our professional lives. That was to bring a new doctor into our thriving family practice, Dr. Jen Buell. 

It was clear from the beginning that the three of us saw eye-to-eye on patient care and shared a love for the outdoors and our community. 

Three years later Dr. Farberow decided to pass the baton of ownership to Dr. Buell, allowing a bit more freedom to travel while still being able to provide care to all his beloved patients. Now Dr. Buell & I continue to do our best to provide outstanding patient care as well as a joyful workplace for all our staff. 

If you have been a patient at our practice for years, or if you are just considering coming in now, we want to throw out the welcome mat and let you know that we will always consider your health and visual welfare to be our top priorities.


Dr. Curt Simmons
Co-owner, Plaza Lane Optometry