Margie Wakeham & Anne Davis Johnson pitch in.


by Ellen Bell

This year, Irvine celebrates 50 years as a city.

It has been said that Irvine is a “city of vision,” and certainly the transformation from ranchland to fully formed city took bold ideas. These ideas created villages filled with not only new homes and roads, but with schools, shops and churches – a true community. Concepts that began on the drawing board became a living, breathing reality called Irvine.

I experienced the benefits of this vision firsthand. My husband and I moved here as a young couple and bought a little condo near the North Lake of Woodbridge. As our family grew, we moved to bigger houses and made more friends, enjoying the community that was designed to make our lives easier. We loved summers at the lagoon, Saturday soccer games and legendary Fourth of July block parties.

Our family’s story is not unique. So many others have shared the same experiences. For 50 years, Irvine residents have put down roots, raised their families and participated in civic life. The PTA, youth-sports organizations and local philanthropies all have run on people power.

As a result, Irvine has become known as both a city of learning and as America’s safest city.

The people who settled here – drawn to great schools, safety, jobs, beautiful parks and amazing weather – have made their own important contributions with their time and treasure to
support this community we love so much.

Ellen Bell is an Orange County historian and author of “Irvine: Images of America.”


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