UCI Site Selection — Was This the First Choice? April 22, 2011Posted by ucisca in Early UCI Campus.
Tags: Irvine Ranch, Site selection, William Pereira
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On June 19, 1958, the Regents’ Site Selection Committee met to hear architect William Pereira present a large number of potential sites for the location of the UCI campus. The Irvine Ranch was one of the four finalists considered in Orange County and the one Pereira considered to be the best. However, the Regents’ first choice was a site in Newport Beach on the slopes of what is now known as Spyglass Hill, near the current location of Fashion Island. The site had a beautiful view of the coast and Catalina Island. While discussions of the proposed site were occurring, land at the center of the site was sold to the Pacific View Memorial Park cemetery. Joan Irvine Smith offered the cemetery an alternative site, including access to a water supply, a needed road, and an equally amazing view. However, Pacific View remained committed to their site. Due to the fact that several burials had occurred in the meantime, the cemetery’s original choice became secured. The second choice for the UCI campus was on the Irvine Ranch, and it was that site that was eventually selected.
AS-090. Agreements Between UCI and Irvine Company. Special Collections and Archives, the U.C. Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California.
How Aldrich Park might have been April 19, 2010Posted by ucisca in Early UCI Campus.
Tags: Aldrich Park, Centrum, William Pereira
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Early proposals for the design of the Central Park (later called Aldrich Park) included an almost 300 foot tall central bell tower which would have been called “Centrum,” as well as several connected lakes. Centrum would have been the tallest built structure in Orange County and visible for miles. These aspects of the design were not completed. The University Archives has numerous photographs of Pereira’s architectural models and campus plans. Pereira’s project workbooks ( Collection # AS-127), which document the various phases of campus planning can also be found in the University Archives.
Early planning for physical layout of campus April 16, 2010Posted by ucisca in Early UCI Campus.
Tags: Campus planning, Clark Kerr, Daniel Aldrich, William Pereira
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In the winter of 1962, UC President Clark Kerr invited UCI Architect William Pereira and UCI Chancellor Daniel Aldrich to meet him in Berkeley to discuss how best to use the newly selected Irvine campus site. At the meeting, Kerr recalled an influential book he had read as a graduate student, Johann Heinric von Thunen’s Der Isolierte Staat (1863), in which he envisioned the ideal city “as a series of concentric circles starting out with central city buildings and going out to industrial, housing and agricultural areas.” Kerr then drew a rough sketch of a proposed layout of the Irvine campus, a circle with the names of disciplines around it. The basic design was then elaborated during the physical planning, which incorporated a concentric and radial scheme. The Central Campus was designed to consist of six quadrangles, each representing an academic unit, which radiated out of the ring. The ring unified the school both functionally and artistically. Distances between each quad were minimized and provided movement for pedestrians and bicycles. At the center of the ring is the 29-acre Daniel Aldrich Park, originally named Central Park, which is the metaphorical heart of the campus. Designed as an informal gathering place, it was based on the central parks of cities and universities throughout the world.
Pereira’s Early Campus Plans November 13, 2009Posted by ucisca in Early UCI Campus, University Archives.
Tags: Campus Plans, UC Irvine, William Pereira
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William L. Pereira, the UC Irvine architect went through several proposals for the UCI campus before a plan was finalized. Some of the initial proposals in 1962-1963 added a bell tower in the center of campus park. The tower, which was never built, was named “centrum.” Several lakes in campus park were also part of an early campus plan. These designs did not go through as proposed, but imagine how different the landscape would be if they had? The University Archives has numerous photographs of Pereira’s architectural models and campus plans. Pereira’s project workbooks ( Collection # AS-127), which document the various phases of campus planning can also be found in the University Archives.
AS-061. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California.