Here is what I have been waiting for !!! a book about my beloved Torrance and also being apart of 29 photo's inside. Grandma is a young beautiful mother of 3 with her husband, our home, great grandparents and other family mementos can be found inside. The 2nd largest contributor in the book. Here is the information and you might run across it in your book/club store. If you do see it and find out that it might be something you would like to have. Buying on-line from Save Historic Old Torrance $6 of the 19.99 will go to the non-profit organization.
Old Torrance Olmsted District Author(s):
Bonnie Mae Barnard, Save Historic Old Torrance # of Pages:
Arcadia Publishing Publication Date:
Book Description: The City of Torrance anchors Los Angeles County’s South Bay area and is known widely as a “headquarters city” for corporate giants Exxon Mobil, Nissan, Honda, and others. Yet the city’s unique history often gets glossed over. “Downtown Torrance,” also known as “Old Torrance” and the “Olmsted Districts,” was laid out in 1912 by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., the influential urban-designer son of the “Father of Landscape Architecture,” F. L. Olmsted Sr. The town founder and patriarch, Jared Sidney Torrance, gave Olmsted Jr. the imperative to create a unique industrial city. The results are in the streets, buildings, and parks between Western Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard, north of today’s Plaza Del Amo and south of Dominguez Way. Some structures in this district were designed by renowned architect Irving Gill, including the Southern Pacific Railroad Bridge and the Pacific Electric Railway depot.
Author Bonnie Mae Barnard and her husband, Don, founded Save Historic Old Torrance (www.savehistoricoldtorrance.com)
, dedicated to preserving the historic landmarks in the city of Torrance. The Barnards live in the historic Zamperini House, named for Louis Zamperini, a record-setting track star who competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Using photographs of Old Torrance families, Barnard has crafted this unique paean to the “original Torrance.”
Life in historic Old Torrance pictured in new book By Ian Hanigan
02/20/2006 Daily Breeze
The Realtor had suggested a more affordable community, Gardena perhaps. But when Bonnie Mae Barnard was ready to purchase a home in 2000, she would settle for nothing less than the area known as Old Torrance.
"I just couldn't live someplace else," she said.
Barnard, perhaps the biggest cheerleader for that part of the city, will tell you there's just something special about the elegant architecture, the Craftsman homes oozing with character, the unfenced lawns that seem to blend from one to another.
So when asked recently if she would compile photos and author a book about Torrance's humble-yet-ambitious beginnings, she naturally obliged.
The result of nine months of work, Old Torrance: Olmsted Districts, is set to be released this week as the latest in Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series, which documents local and regional histories.
At 128 pages, the Torrance book includes more than 200 black-and-white photos of the early streets, factories, businesses, schools and families that helped fulfill founder Jared Sidney Torrance's vision of a city where residents could work, live and play.
"Old Torrance" refers to the original boundaries on the east end. That slice of town, sandwiched between Crenshaw Boulevard and Western Avenue, just north of Plaza del Amo, was designed by John C. and Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., the influential sons of renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Sr.
Like the budding city, the soft-cover book is divided into industrial, business and residential sections. Vintage photos capture the early days of Sartori Avenue, the city's first official library on Post Avenue, Torrance High School and the first City Hall on Cravens Avenue.
There are also dozens of shots of local families and several appearances by Louis Zamperini, Torrance's favorite Olympian and war hero.
Barnard, 56, now lives in Zamperini's childhood home and is vice president of the local preservation group known as Save Historic Old Torrance. She said she hopes readers will enjoy taking a look back -- and comparing the grainy snapshots with today's streetscapes.
"If after reading the book they actually stroll Old Torrance, I think they'll be amazed to see that much of what is in the book is still in existence," she said. "It's still there."
This is Arcadia Publishing's first venture into Torrance, but the city was an obvious choice for a history book considering its status as the South Bay's "anchor city," said Jerry Roberts, Arcadia's Southern California acquisitions editor.
"The history is sort of getting obscured with time," he said. "Our series is a perfect series to bring out something like that, to re-establish that in the community."
Roberts said another Arcadia book, set to be out later this year, will put the spotlight on Torrance Municipal Airport, and future Torrance books may follow.
Janet Payne of the Torrance Historical Society said her group also has plans to write a book about Torrance, but you may have to wait a little longer for that one. Envisioned as a broader history in a coffee-table-style format, its release will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the city's founding in 2012, she said.
In the meantime, Payne predicted Old Torrance would be well received by local readers.
"This type of a book that celebrates family with photos -- people can identify with those," Payne said. "They're very popular and they fill a great need."