The Brea Historical Society received a generous donation from Unocal/Chevron to create a special book that documents Brea's 100-year history. The companies were asked to sponsor the book Brea: Then and Now; a Pictorial History, due to their long history and contributions in the city. The 167-page hardbound book, written and published by former Brea Olinda Union High School District Superintendent Tim Harvey, chronicles the city's history through pictures from its founding in 1917 through 2011. The founder of the Brea Museum Don Schweitzer contributed the book's forward, with historical society board member Scott A. Neal writing the introduction. According to the Historical Society, it is the only picture book of Brea in existence. To purchase the book, go to the Brea Museum & Heritage Center's website at www.breamuseum.org and click on the 'shop' tab.
La Floresta, a multi-generational mixed use community being developed by La Floresta, LLC was pleased to host the 'Oasis' groundbreaking in February of 2015 as part of the city of Brea's Art in Public Places. The environmental sculpture, valued at approximately $2 million dollars, was the creation of Anna Valentina Murch and Douglas Hollis who have been commissioned to create art instillations for other cities around the world.
"We are thrilled to bring this special piece of art to the La Floresta community and the residents of Brea," says Ivan Jimenez, project manager for La Floresta. "We believe Oasis will be unlike any other art piece in the city of Brea and will become the focal point of the entire community as well as a special gathering place for future residents and visitors."
The Oasis is situated in a plaza adjacent to La Floresta's retail center on the corner of Imperial Highway and Valencia. According to the artists, Oasis is a metaphorical sculpture, referencing Brea's cultural past from the Native American to early days of settlement, ranching and oil development. The art piece also looks to the future with its sustainable materials and technologies on the foundation for which it is being designed and built. Murch and Hollis plan to incorporate unique elements in the berms, terraces, plant materials and light, which will create a multi-sensory experience.
Under Brea's Art in Public Places Policy, new developments with a total building valuation of over 1.5 million dollars are required to integrate publicly visible sculptures into their projects. La Floresta, LLC is responsible for selecting an artist, commissioning, installing and maintaining the artwork. Designed to appeal to residents of all ages, La Floresta will feature a variety of new homes, recreation and shopping experiences, all within an intimate village atmosphere.
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Funded through the La Floresta project entitlements, Brea's War Memorial was built and unveiled on Veterans Day, November 11, 2012. The monument is located in the city's Civic Center on Birch Street, in the area between the traffic circle and Embassy Suites. The Brea City Council approved construction of the memorial in 2006 to honor all Breans who lost their lives or were declared missing in action during wartime and to recognize all military veterans. Construction of the memorial was delayed for several years until Chevron Land and Development donated approximately $450,000 for the memorial's design and development.
A War Memorial Advisory Committee consisting of five citizens and chaired by a City Council member was selected to oversee the process. Following a national search, Los Angeles-based Susan Narduli's design was selected and approved in June 2011.
The new city landmark consists of: A dedication wall; military service medallions; military service flags; and the American flag reflected in the black stone of the Monument of Remembrance, which lists names of those who died serving our country. The landmark also features the Walk of Honor with veteran pavers, a walkway and a magnolia tree garden and benches.