History Of Irvine, California
Irvine is the country’s largest and best-known planned community. Now a city of over 200,000 people, its
housing “villages” and business developments were sculpted from portions of the huge Irvine Ranch, purchased
by James Irvine in 1864. Cattle and sheep once grazed the flat valley, but James Irvine began switching from
ranching to farming in the late 1800s.The ranch became a leading producer of barley and lima beans, but other
crops, such as asparagus, avocados, strawberries and orange trees, also flourished.In the early 1900s, a town
centered around the agricultural activity and East Irvine began to grow. It included a general store and a post
office.That area – no longer the city’s center – has been redeveloped as Old Town Irvine, using the historical
buildings as restaurants, shops and a hotel.Irvine’s growth as a residential and employment area was spurred
by the decision to build a local University of California campus. In 1960, The Irvine Co. donated 1,000 acres and
sold 500 acres to the university system for the new campus.In 1970, the company announced an ambitious plan
to turn 43 square miles of undeveloped land into a master-planned community. Rows of houses rapidly began
replacing rows of crops. From 1970 to 1980, Irvine was California’s fastest growing city.Threatened with possible
annexations by other cities, Irvine incorporated in 1971. Irvine officials tout it as a progressive, trend setting city
that delivers a high level of services to its residents. It is famed for its highly regulated residential
neighborhoods.. Information Provided by Orangecounty.net) Click for link