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Irvine History, California

Irvine, CA US - History: A Planned city from Irvine Company

Irvine, a city situated in the state of California, United States is considered to be one of the most planned cities of the world. It was developed by the Irvine Company in the 1960s. The city was incorporated formally on December 28, 1971 with an initial area of 180.5 sq km.

The city of Irvine was first inhabited by the indigenous group of Gabrielino nearly 2000, years ago. A Spanish explorer named Gaspar de Portola visited the area in 1769. It gradually led to the establishments of missions, forts and herds of cattle. After this the King of Spain parcelled the land for private use and missions.

Later, the Government of Mexico secularised all the missions after the independence of Mexico from Spain in 1921, thereby assuming control over the lands. The government distributed the land to the citizen of Mexico, who applied for grants. Thereafter, three large Mexican and Spanish grants developed the land, which was later called the Irvine Ranch named after Rancho San Joaquin, Rancho Lomas de Santiago and Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana.

The ranch was later divided in 1968 among the four claimants due to a law suit filed by Bixby, Flint and Irvine. Sheep grazing were devoted to the ranches, but tenant farming finally got permitted in 1870. 

James Irvine, later, acquired of the interests of his partners in 1978 for a sum of $150,000. The land acquired stretched nearly 27 miles which was spread over an area of 110,000 acres from the Santa Ana River to the Pacific Ocean. After the death of James Irvine, the ranch was inherited by James Irvine Jr., his son. James Irvine Jr. incorporated it as the Irvine Company, shifting the operations of the land to olive, citrus and field crops.

The Santa Fe Railroad got extended in 1988, as its line was stretched to Fallbrook Junction located in the north of San Diego. The station was named after James Irvine and the town formed around the station was named after Irvine’s son, Myford. However, the town was again renamed as Irvine in 1914.

In 1947 after the death of James Irvine Jr., his son became the president of the Irvine Company. Small sections of the ranch were opened to urban development. In 1959, after the death of Myford, the Irvine Company sold a requested 500 acre to the University of California. The city developed under William Pereira, who was the consulting architect of the university. Later, the residents of the city voted in 1971 to incorporate the city into a larger one under the Pereira Plan.

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Irvine City Ratings

  • Rating38%
    City Rank372
  • History & Culture: rated for 10%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 40%
  • Family & Fun: rated for 60%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 20%
  • Food: rated for 60%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 80%
  • Shopping: not rated
  • Public Transportation: rated for 10%
  • Must visit this place: rated for 30%
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