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Some of the early civic and residential buildings were designed by the renowned and innovative Southern California architect Irving Gill, in his distinctive combining of Mission Revival and early Modernist architecture.
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Torrance has 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of beaches on the Pacific Ocean.
Torrance has a moderate year-round climate with warm temperatures, sea breezes, low humidity and an average rainfall of 12.55 inches per year.
Torrance was originally part of the Tongva Native American homeland for thousands of years.
In 1784 the Spanish land grant for Rancho San Pedro, in the upper Las Californias Province of New Spain and encompassing present day Torrance, was issued to Juan Jose Dominguez by King Carlos III—the Spanish Empire.
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. The resulting town was founded in October 1912 and named after Torrance.The city of Torrance was formally incorporated in May 1921, the townsite being bounded by Western Avenue on the east, Del Amo Boulevard on the north, Crenshaw Boulevard on the west, & on the south by Plaza Del Amo east of where it meets Carson Street, & by Carson Street west of where it meets Plaza Del Amo.The first residential avenue created in Torrance was Gramercy and the second avenue was Andreo.Many of the houses on these avenues turned 100 years of age in 2012.Both avenues 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.