Torrance is a city located in the South Bay (southwestern) region of Los Angeles County, California, United States. Torrance's 1.5 miles of attractive beach coastline is less well-known than those of its immediate neighbors to the North, Redondo Beach, or to the South, Palos Verdes Estates. As of the 2009 California Population Estimate, the city's population was 149,111; the eighth largest city in Los Angeles County and the 35th largest in the state of California. Incorporated in 1921, Torrance enjoys a pleasant year-round climate with warm temperatures, sea breezes, low humidity and an average rainfall of 12.55 inches per year. This residential city has 90,000 street trees. A city of diverse residents, flourishing businesses and safe communities, Torrance exemplifies its motto, "a balanced city."
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. They purchased part 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. The first residential avenue created in Torrance was Gramercy and the second avenue was Andreo. Both are located in the area referred to as Old Town Torrance. This section of Torrance is under review to be classified as a historical district. Birthplace of American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) or more commonly seen as a bumper sticker: PlAYSOccer
As can be seen on the map above, Torrance is a coastal community in Los Angeles County, sharing the climate and geographical features common to Los Angeles area. Torrance's boundaries include Redondo Beach Boulevard and the cities of Lawndale and Gardena to the north. Western Avenue and the Harbor Gateway neighborhood form the eastern border, and the cities of Lomita, Rolling Hills Estates and Palos Verdes Estates form the southern border, while the Pacific Ocean and the city of Redondo Beach are to the west.
Torrance Beach lies between Redondo Beach and Malaga Cove. The region shared by Torrance and Redondo Beaches are often called "Rat Beach" (short for "Right After Torrance" Beach or "Redondo and Torrance Beach").
One of the country's few urban wetlands can be found in Torrance. Madrona Marsh is a nature preserve on undeveloped land once set aside for oil production.
Coastal Los Angeles is well-known for year-round pleasant weather:
- On average, the warmest month is August.
- The highest recorded temperature was 111°F in 1955.
- On average, the coolest month is December.
- The lowest recorded temperature was 21°F in 2007.
- The maximum average precipitation occurs in January.
Torrance has a Mediterranean climate or Dry-Summer Subtropical (Köppen climate classification Csb on the coast). Torrance enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of 263 sunshine days and only 35 days with measurable precipitation annually.
The period of April through November is warm to hot and dry with average high temperatures of 71 - 79°F and lows of 50 - 62°F. Due to the moderating effect of the ocean, temperatures are cooler than more inland areas of Los Angeles, where temperatures frequently exceed 90°F (32°C) and occasionally reach 100°F (38°C).
The Los Angeles area is also subject to the phenomenon typical of a microclimate. As such, the temperatures can vary as much as 18°F (10°C) between inland areas and the coast, with a temperature gradient of over one degree per mile (1.6 km) from the coast inland. California has also a weather phenomenon called "June Gloom or May Grey", which sometimes brings overcast or foggy skies in the morning on the coast, followed by sunny skies by noon during late spring and early summer.
Los Angeles averages 15 inches (385 mm) of precipitation annually, which mainly occurs during the winter and spring (November through April) with generally light rain showers, but sometimes as heavy rainfall and thunderstorms. Coastal Torrance receives slightly less rainfall, while the mountains receive slightly more. Snowfall is extremely rare in the city basin, but the mountains within city limits typically receive snowfall every winter.
As of the census of 2000, there were 137,946 people, 54,542 households, and 36,270 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,593.1/km² (6,715.7/mi²). There were 55,967 housing units at an average density of 1,052.0/km² (2,724.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 59.16% White, 28.61% Asian, 4.72% from two or more races, 4.57% from other races, 2.19% Black or African American, 0.41% Native American and 0.35% Pacific Islander. 12.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 54,542 households out of which 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.1% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 27.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.10.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.0% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 32.4% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $70,834, and the median income for a family was $84,711. Males had a median income of $51,472 versus $37,114 for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,144. About 4.5% of families and 6.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.0% of those under age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.
Del Amo Fashion Center, at 2.5 million square feet (232,000 m²), is one of the largest malls in the United States. Estimates vary between the second largest (after the Mall of America) and the fourth largest, depending on the measurements used. The current mall was created when Del Amo Center, built in 1958, merged with Del Amo Fashion Square, built in 1970. Once located on opposite sides of Carson Street, a gigantic expansion of the mall spanning Carson Street joined the two centers by 1982, making it the longest mall in the world at the time. In 2005, the east end of the original mall north of Carson Street was demolished to make way for a new open-air shopping center, opened in mid-September, 2006. The new center features upscale clothiers Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters as well as the restaurant PF Chang's. The housewares retail giant Crate & Barrel opened in Spring 2007. Torrance also borders the South Bay Galleria, which resides in Redondo Beach.
The Armed Forces Day Parade in Torrance, which was first produced in 1960, is the longest running military parade sponsored by a city. It is held annually on Armed Forces Day, and runs down Torrance Boulevard. The parade features military vehicles, school bands, and prominent community members.
Alpine Village, although not within the city boundaries but having a Torrance mailing address, is a European-themed restaurant, market and shop complex that hosts a locally popular version of the Oktoberfest celebrations every weekend during September and October for 35 years, featuring a beer brewed on site.
Torrance is home to the U.S. headquarters of two of the three largest Japanese automakers, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. and American Honda Motor Company. Robinson Helicopters are designed and built in Torrance as are Garrett Systems turbochargers, used on automobile engines worldwide.
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1.||Toyota Motor Sales||3,320|
|3.||Robinson Helicopter, Inc.||1,210|
|4.||Alcoa Fastening Systems||1,205|
|6.||Hi Shear Corporation||813|
|7.||L-3 Communications Electron Tech, Inc.||687|
|8.||Exxon Mobil Oil Corporation||674|
|9.||Pelican Products, Inc.||556|
As a major oil-producing region, Torrance was once dotted with thousands of oil wells and oil derricks. Though the oil wells are not as common as they once were, the ExxonMobil refinery in the north end of the city is responsible for much of Southern California's gasoline supply. In fact, much of Southern California's gasoline supply is refined within a few miles of Torrance. ARCO produces gasoline in Carson; Texaco has a refinery a bit further east in Wilmington; Unocal is in San Pedro while one of the oldest refineries in the state is the Chevron plant in El Segundo. Torrance was also an important hub and shop site of the Pacific Electric Railway.
Torrance has a busy general aviation airport, originally named simply "Torrance Airport" and since renamed Zamperini Field after local track star, World War II hero and Torrance High graduate Louis Zamperini. The airport handles approximately 175,000 annual take-offs and landings (473 per day ), down from the 1974 record of 428,000 operations. Airport noise abatement is a major local issue. In 2007 the Western Museum of Flight moved to Zamperini Field.
Torrance is also home to the world headquarters of Sunrider International, as well as the U.S. Headquarters of numerous leading automotive aftermarket companies, including: Alpine Electronics, Speed Star Racing Wheels, Tanabe Racing Development,