The luxurious homes for sale in Brea, CA are some of the best in Orange County. Prized as a wonderful place to raise a family, as well as a ripe market for real estate investment, there are few places in the region more beautiful, more comfortable, or more historic.
Brea (meaning “oil” or “tar” in Spanish) is an affluent city in Orange County, California. The population as of the 2010 census was 39,282. It is located 33 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
Beginning as a center of crude oil production, Brea was later propelled by citrus production, and is now an important retail center because of the large Brea Mall and the recently redeveloped Brea Downtown. Brea is also known for its extensive public art program, which began in 1975 and continues today, with over 140 artworks in the collection placed throughout the city. Brea’s public art program has been used as an inspiring model for many similar art programs across the United States.
The area of Brea was visited on July 29, 1769 by the Spanish Portolá expedition—the first Europeans to see inland parts of Alta California. The party camped in Brea Canyon, near a large native village and a small pool of clean water. A historical marker dedicated to the visit stands in Brea Canyon, just north of town.
The village of Olinda was founded in present-day Carbon Canyon at the beginning of the 19th century, and many entrepreneurs came to the area searching for “black gold” (petroleum). In 1894, the owner of the land, Abel Stearns, sold 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) to the west of Olinda to the newly created Union Oil Company of California, and by 1898, many nearby hills began sporting wooden oil-drilling towers on the newly discovered Brea-Olinda Oil Field. In 1908, the village of Randolph, named for railway engineer Epes Randolph, was founded just south of Brea Canyon for the oil workers and their families. Baseball legend Walter Johnson grew up in Olinda at the start of the 20th century, where he worked in the surrounding oil fields as a youth.
The villages of Olinda and Randolph grew rapidly as the economy boomed, and they eventually merged into one bustling town. On January 19, 1911, the town’s map was filed under the new name of Brea. With a population of 752, Brea was incorporated on February 23, 1917 as the eighth official city of Orange County.
As oil production declined, some agricultural development took place, especially lemon and orange groves. In the 1920s, the Brea Chamber of Commerce promoted the city with the slogan “Oil, Oranges, and Opportunity.” In 1950, Brea’s population had grown to 3,208, and the citrus groves gradually gave way to industrial parks and residential development. In 1956, Carl N. Karcher opened the first two Carl’s Jr. restaurants in Anaheim, California and Brea, California.
The opening of the Orange Freeway (57) and the Brea Mall in the 1970s spurred further residential growth, including large planned developments east of the 57 Freeway in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. In the late 1990s, a 50-acre (200,000 m2) swath of downtown Brea centered on Brea Boulevard and Birch Street was heavily redeveloped into a shopping and entertainment area with movie theaters, sidewalk cafes, a live comedy club from The Improv chain, numerous shops and restaurants, and a weekly farmer’s market. It is locally known and signed as Downtown Brea.
Lastly, in early 2006, Sunset Magazine named Brea one of the five best suburbs to live in, in the Western United States.
Museums and attractions to visit in Brea include:
Annual Events in Brea:
Brea has all the charm of an old-fashioned city with an ideal location close to Los Angeles, Orange County theme parks and shopping galore. In fact, it’s known as North Orange County’s destination for dining and shopping. Brea Mall, Brea Marketplace, Brea Gateway Center, Downtown Brea, Union Plaza and East Imperial Center are some of the most well-known shopping centers in Brea.
What’s more, Downtown Brea is the hub of entertainment and nightlife with a 22-screen movie theater, an Improv comedy club, and numerous bars, clubs and restaurants.
Are you looking for arts, culture and history?
Marvel at Brea’s Art in Public Places sculpture collection that includes twenty inspiring installations throughout the city, including “Orange Grove” by Meg Cranston. This five-piece ceramic and metal sculptural fountain was designed as a symbol of Brea’s history of orange groves. The bright and playful contemporary sculpture is a whimsical interpretation of an orange grove with elements reminiscent of grove trees. With water flowing over each of the five pieces, the fountain is also a symbol of Brea’s prosperity. Brea’s earliest settlers were attracted to the location because of the availability of water. This brightly colored interpretation of an orange grove celebrates Brea’s abundance and history with a refreshing splash. Artist Meg Cranston’s contemporary work accentuates the ambiance of Downtown Brea, while reminding the public of the close link between Brea’s natural and cultural history.
With so much to do, you can see why homes for sale in Brea, CA are among the most sought after in the region! Offering so much more than just an alluring neighborhood with wonderful schools, the amount of amenities, activities and culture will keep you and your family entertained for years to come!
Brea Olinda Unified School District serves the City of Brea in Orange County, California, United States. It also serves portions of the nearby cities of Fullerton, Yorba Linda and La Habra.
In 1994, the district had the lowest dropout rate of all districts in Orange County: 13 students, making up only 0.5% of the district’s students.
The District has completed design plans for a new elementary school at the corner of Birch and Valencia. However, construction is on hold as the school district waits for developer fees from three major housing projects in Brea.
Brea Olinda Unified consists of nine schools: six elementary schools, one junior high school, one high school and one continuation high school.
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