How William Pereira Got the Job to Design Irvine and UC Irvine

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The UC Board of Regents voted in 1959 to build two new campuses, one in the north and one in the south. The board wanted sites spacious enough to allow for growth, but close enough to population centers to draw on metropolitan life. Hiring William Pereira’s former partner Charles Luckman to locate Southern California sites (with Pereira watching), the vast Irvine Ranch was selected. It was mostly pastureland in 1960, but the center of Southern California’s population was moving toward this part of Orange County

Pereira glimpsed a rare opportunity to improve Orange County’s piecemeal development with a grand vision of an entire new university city. Always well-connected to the Southern California establishment, Pereira sold his vision to the regents—and the board of the Irvine Foundation, which controlled Irvine Ranch. Both boards hired Pereira to plan and coordinate a detailed, well-designed modern city with the intellectual power, new ideas, and cultural cache of a major university as its heart.

Click here for the full story on Pereira in O.C. from our July 2014 issue.

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