Transforming the Irvine Ranch
Joan Irvine, William Pereira, Ray Watson, and the Big Plan
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 31, 2022
From citrus trees to spring breakers, Transforming the Irvine Ranch tells the story of Orange County’s metamorphosis from 93,000 acres of farmland into an iconic Southern California landscape of beaches and modern architecture. Drawing on decades of archival research and their own years at the famed Irvine Company, the authors bring a collection of colorful characters responsible for the transformation to life, including:
• Ray Watson, whose nearly century-long life took him from an Oakland boarding house to the Irvine and Walt Disney Company boardrooms;
• Joan Irvine Smith, a much-married heiress who waged war against the US government and the Irvine Foundation’s reactionary board—and won; and
• William Pereira, the visionary architect whose work became synonymous with the LA cityscape.
Spanning the history of modern California from its Gold Rush past to high-tech present, Transforming the Irvine Ranch chronicles a storied family’s largely successful attempts to remake their corner of the state in its own image.
Table of Contents
NOTES TO READERS
INTRODUCTION - THE LAND
CHAPTER 1 - A DECADE OF DETERMINATION
CHAPTER 2 - A PLANNER’S PATH: EARLY LIFE, EDUCATION AND REAL WORK
CHAPTER 3 - RAY ARRIVES AT A COMPANY ON THE BRINK OF CHANGE
CHAPTER 4 - "WE ARE NOT GODS"
CHAPTER 5 - ATHALIE
CHAPTER 6 - JOAN
CHAPTER 7 - THE BIRTH OF UC IRVINE
CHAPTER 8 - INCLUSIONS, EXCLUSIONS AND THE CAMPUS THAT NEVER WAS
CHAPTER 9 - PIPES AND PLANS
CHAPTER 10 - DEFENDING THE BORDERS
CHAPTER 11 - THE CAMPAIGN FOR CITYHOOD
CHAPTER 12 - THE NEW CITY: PARTNERS OR ANTAGONISTS, OR A LITTLE OF BOTH?
CHAPTER 13 - THE MAGIC OF PLANNING
CHAPTER 14 - FROM PLANS TO REALITY: EASTBLUFF AND NEWPORT CENTER
CHAPTER 15 - THE TAX REFORM ACT OF 1969
CHAPTER 16 - ACCELERATION
CHAPTER 17 - CONFLICTING VISIONS OF THE UPPER NEWPORT BAY
CHAPTER 18 - POLITICS AND MEDIA
CHAPTER 19 - LOW-COST HOUSING: "A PROBLEM FROM DAY ONE"
CHAPTER 20 - THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN
CHAPTER 21 - THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE COASTS
CHAPTER 22 - TOWN AND GOWN
CHAPTER 23 - JOAN REDUX
CHAPTER 24 - BUYING TIME
CHAPTER 25 - SCHOUT’S HONOR
CHAPTER 26 - WISE (AND RICH) MEN FROM THE EAST
CHAPTER 27 - GOING ALL IN
CHAPTER 28 - RAY DEPARTS
CHAPTER 29 - VILLAINS NO MORE
CHAPTER 30 - THE BIG PLANS OF WILLIAM PEREIRA
CHAPTER 31 - REASONS FOR SUCCESS
EPILOG - FOLLOW THE MONEY
H. Pike Oliver has worked on real estate development strategies and master-planned communities since the early 1970s, including nearly eight years at the Irvine Company. He was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and resided in the City of Irvine for fifteen years. As the founder and sole proprietor of URBANEXUS, Oliver works on advancing equitable and sustainable real estate development and natural lands management. He is also an affiliate instructor at the Runstad Department of Real Estate at the University of Washington. Earlier in his career, Oliver worked for public agencies including the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research where he was a principal contributor to An Urban Strategy for California. Prior to relocating to Seattle in 2013, he taught real estate development at Cornell University and directed the undergraduate program in urban and regional studies. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute, the American Planning Association and a founder and emeritus member of the California Planning Roundtable.Oliver is a graduate of the urban studies and planning program at San Francisco State University and earned a Master’s degree in urban planning at UCLA.
C. Michael Stockstill received a degree in Journalism from Humboldt State University in 1971. After a year as a legislative staff member in the California Assembly, he worked as a reporter and editor in Orange County before joining the Irvine Company in 1978. During his thirteen-year career there, he helped formulate and implement strategy for major planning and policy issues, including a multi-year effort to pass a half-cent sales tax for local transportation improvements. Stockstill also worked for the Transportation Corridor Agencies, which built the first toll roads in modern California history, CalOptima, Southern California Edison, and as a public affairs consultant. Stockstill moved to Irvine in 1975 and was active in local government, youth sports, and education while raising a family there. Now retired, he lives in Irvine and is a trustee of the Irvine Land Trust, which builds and owns affordable housing in Irvine. He has written for national magazines including Planning and Parks and Recreation.