Local city information for Irvine, CA
() is an incorporated city in Orange County, California, United States. It is a planned city, mainly developed by the Irvine Company since the 1960s. Formally incorporated on December 28, 1971, the 69.7 square mile (180.5 km2
) city has a population of about 212,793 (as of January 1, 2009). It has annexed in the past an undeveloped area to the north, and has also annexed the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, most of which is planned to be converted into the Orange County Great Park.
Because of its good schools, jobs and housing, the city was chosen in 2008 by CNNMoney.com as the fourth best place to live in the United States. In June 2008, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that Irvine had the lowest violent crime rate (four homicides, 17 rapes, 50 robberies and 55 aggravated assaults in 2006) among cities in the United States with populations of more than 100,000, and in August 2008 the Census Bureau ranked Irvine as having the seventh highest median income among cities in the United States with populations of more than 65,000.
Irvine is home to the University of California, Irvine (UCI), Concordia University, the Orange County Center of the University of Southern California, and the Irvine campuses of Alliant International University, California State University Fullerton, and Pepperdine University. Irvine Valley College, a community college, is also located in the city.
Irvine is home to a number of corporations, particularly in the technology sector.
Irvine was inhabited by the Gabrielino indigenous group about 2,000 years ago. Gaspar de Portolà, a Spanish explorer, came to the area in 1769. This brought on the establishment of forts, missions and herds of cattle. The King of Spain parceled out land for missions and private use.
After Mexico's independence from Spain in 1821, the Mexican government secularized the missions and assumed control of the lands. It began distributing the land to Mexican citizens who applied for grants. Three large Spanish/Mexican grants made up the land that later became the Irvine Ranch: Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, Rancho San Joaquin and Rancho Lomas de Santiago.
In 1864, Jose Andres Sepulveda, owner of Rancho San Joaquin sold to Benjamin and Thomas Flint, Llewellyn Bixby and James Irvine for $18,000 to resolve debts due to the Great Drought. In 1866, Irvine, Flint and Bixby acquired Rancho Lomas de Santiago for $7,000. After the Mexican-American war the land of Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana fell prey to tangled titles. In 1868, the ranch was divided among four claimants as part of a lawsuit: Flint, Bixby and Irvine. The ranches were devoted to sheep grazing. However, in 1870, tenant farming was permitted.
In 1878, James Irvine acquired his partners' interests for $150,000. His stretched from the Pacific Ocean to the Santa Ana River. James Irvine died in 1886. The ranch was inherited by his son, James Irvine, Jr. who incorporated it into The Irvine Company. James, Jr. shifted the ranch operations to field crops, olive and citrus crops.
In 1888, the Santa Fe Railroad extended its line to Fallbrook Junction (north of San Diego) and named a station along the way after James Irvine. The town that formed around this station was named Myford, after Irvine's son, because a post office in Calaveras County already bore the family name. The town was renamed Irvine in 1914.
By 1918, of lima beans were grown on the Irvine Ranch. Two Marine Corps facilities, MCAS El Toro and MCAS Tustin, were built during World War II on ranch land sold to the government.
James Irvine, Jr. died in 1947 at the age of 80. His son, Myford, assumed the presidency of The Irvine Company. He began opening small sections of the Irvine Ranch to urban development. Myford died in 1959. The same year, the University of California asked The Irvine Company for for a new university campus. The Irvine Company sold the requested land for $1 and later the State purchased an additional 500 acres (2 km2
William Pereira, the University's consulting architect, and The Irvine Company planners drew up master plans for a city of 50,000 people surrounding the new university. The plan called for industrial, residential and recreational areas, commercial centers and greenbelts. The new community was to be named Irvine; the old agricultural town of Irvine, where the railroad station and post office were located, was renamed East Irvine. The villages of Turtle Rock, University Park, Culverdale, the Ranch and Walnut were completed by 1970.
On December 28, 1971, the residents of these communities voted to incorporate a substantially larger city than the one envisioned by the Pereira plan. By January 1999, Irvine had a population of 134,000 and a total area of .
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