Aliso Viejo

Is Aliso Viejo the home of the 2019 Orange County Laureate? Here are some details we learned of this Orange County City.


Did you know that Laguna Niguel is the first master-planned community in America? According to architectural historian Ted Wells, many historians mistakenly contend that Reston, Virginia became the first master-planned, large scale land development. However, Laguna Niguel laid out its foundation in 1953, a solid eleven years before the city of Reston was ever blue-printed and assembled. Famed Architect Victor Gruen, renowned for his invention of the modern American shopping mall, was given the arduous task of designing a city within the previously treeless landscape of endless, rolling hills and damp valleys. He imitated hillsides with curved streets wrapping around the city’s civic and cultural centers which were strategically placed in the heart of the city. Gruen’s later involvements include the original design between Disney’s EPCOT center and modern Tehran.

Laguna Niguel, still mainly a private business-oriented city, was at the forefront of architecture in its time, using post-and-beam wood, cement, and glass walls, an aesthetic reflective of the surrounding natural wonders. Legendary photographer, Ansel Adams also captured the beauty of Laguna Niguel. Nominate your neighbor by October 31st



Written by Kati Zamani. Please email us if you would like to recommend additional reading resources on this topic. For more information on this city please visit the following references:

As a nonprofit organization dedicated to storytelling, we want to honor storytellers in our own backyard. Now is the time to nominate Orange County community members who inspire you, through storytelling, community engagement, or education (art, literature, music, history, science, technology). Nominate the neighbors who inspire you.


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