In the early 1900s, real estate developer Jared Sidney Torrance and other investors saw the value of creating a mixed industrial-residential community south of Los Angeles. For $1 million they purchased 3,522 acres of an old Spanish land grant and hired landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. to design a new planned community. The resulting town was founded in October 1912 and named after Torrance. The city of Torrance was formally incorporated in May 1921. This area, now known as Old Town Torrance, is bounded by Western Avenue on the east, Torrance Boulevard on the north, Crenshaw Boulevard on the west, and Sepulveda Boulevard on the south. Through gradual annexation, the city of Torrance has increased to its present-day size of 21 square miles, including a 1.5-mile beachfront.
The first residential street created in Torrance was Gramercy Avenue. Many of the houses there turned 100 years of age in 2012. Some of the early civic and residential buildings were designed by the renowned and innovative Southern California architect Irving Gill, in his distinctive combining of Mission Revival and early Modernist architecture, including the city’s emblematic depot and railroad bridge.
Old Town Torrance
Torrance, CA 90501