Introduction to Cerritos, California
The California city of Cerritos is located in the southeast portion of Los Angeles County, roughly midway between downtown Los Angeles and the Orange County business centers of Irvine, Anaheim, and Santa Ana. Situated at the center of the Los Angeles Basin, Cerritos is easily accessible to air transportation from Long Beach Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, and Orange County's John Wayne Airport. The city is serviced by three major thoroughfares: California State Highway 91 (Artesia Boulevard) and Interstates I-605 (San Gabriel Freeway) and I-5 (Santa Ana Freeway).
Incorporated in 1956 as the City of Dairy Valley, Cerritos owed its original name to the city's agricultural focus. The community at that time housed tens of thousands of cows and chickens in its 400 dairies and numerous poultry farms. In 1967, the city's name was officially changed to Cerritos owing to its location near land that was part of the original Rancho Los Cerritos Spanish land grant. One of the first cities in Los Angeles County to develop large-scale retail zones, Cerritos in the late 20th-century was able to reinvest funds into the community with large public works projects and community services and programs. Some of its pioneering initiatives include the building of America's first solar heated city hall and the construction of a recycled water system to irrigate parks and street medians.
Arts, Culture and Recreation in Cerritos
A total of 28 parks and recreation facilities in Cerritos provide residents and visitors with a wide variety of recreational options. The Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts (CCPA), a first-rate performing arts and conference facility, offers live performances in music, dance and theater; and includes unique facilities for meetings, banquets and special events. Since its 1993 opening, the CCPA has earned four awards for design and has been named one of the nation's top-grossing theaters in its category. The new Cerritos Sculpture Garden, which opened its doors in March of 2006, offers an inviting setting, framed with graceful trees and textured courtside stone walls, to enjoy the city's growing collection of public artwork. The Los Cerritos Center, an upscale regional commercial shopping mall with a gross lease area of over one-million square feet, opened in 1971 and since that time has served as an integral part of the city's revenue stream.