Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Raymond L. Watson Papers MS.R.120
MS.R.120  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (166.27 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Note
  • Processing History
  • Historical note
  • Biography
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Collection Arrangement
  • Related Collections
  • Publication Rights
  • Separation Note
  • Other Finding Aid

  • Title: Raymond L. Watson papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.R.120
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine Libraries
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 15.8 Linear feet (32 boxes and one oversize folder)
    Date (inclusive): 1954-2010
    Abstract: This collection comprises the extant files of Raymond L. Watson, former President and CEO of the Irvine Company. Beginning in 1960, Watson served the company as Architect Planner, Vice President of Planning, Senior Vice President of the Land Development Division, Executive Vice President, and Vice Chairman, as well as in other positions until his retirement in 2003. Included in the collection are Watson's speeches, correspondence, and writings; Irvine Company records, publications, and reports; subject files relating to the Irvine Company, the Irvine Ranch, the City of Irvine, the University of California, Irvine, and Orange County, CA (including Upper Newport Bay); and professional files on topics such as city planning, housing, and New Towns. Of particular interest are Watson's own writings on community development and the City of Irvine.
    Creator: Irvine Company.
    Creator: Watson, Raymond L., 1926-
    The digital files and images can be searched and accessed online.

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    Raymond L. Watson Papers. MS-R120. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
    For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Raymond L. Watson, 2004 and 2011.

    Processing Note

    A portion of this collection was processed, described, and digitized with support from the Raymond L. Watson Library Fund.

    Processing History

    This collection was donated in two separate accessions, in 2004 and 2011. The first accession comprised 10 linear feet and was arranged and described by Rachel Sandoval and Anne Mar, 2006. In 2011, a second accession, measuring 5.8 linear feet, arrived and was arranged and described by Patricia Glowinski, 2012. The additional material was incorporated into the arrangement scheme of the initial collection and descriptive information was added to the original finding aid to reflect this. It should be noted that the arrangement of the collection was imposed by the archivists during processing to facilitate access, and does not necessarily represent the way the papers were created, organized, and used over time by Raymond Watson.

    Historical note

    Chronology

    1926 Raymond L. Watson born in Seattle, WA
    1951 Receives B.A. in Architecture from UC Berkeley
    1953 Receives M.A. in Architecture from UC Berkeley
    1960 Joins The Irvine Company as chief planner
    1964 Named Vice President, Planning for The Irvine Company
    1966 Named Vice President, Land Development Division of The Irvine Company
    1968 Named Senior Vice President, Land Development Division of The Irvine Company
    1970 Named Executive Vice President of The Irvine Company
    1973 Named Acting CEO upon death of William R. Mason
    1973 Appointed President and CEO by The Irvine Company board
    1977 Resigns from The Irvine Company
    1977 Co-founds Newport Development Company, serves as president and partner
    1983 Named Vice Chairman of the Board, The Walt Disney Company
    1983 Named Chairman of the Board, The Walt Disney Company
    1983 Rejoins Board of The Irvine Company
    1984 Resigns as Chairman of The Walt Disney Company
    1986 Named Vice Chairman of The Irvine Company
    2003 Retires from The Irvine Company, remains a board member
    2004 Donates his papers to UCI Libraries
    2005 Pedestrian bridge at UCI named Raymond L. Watson Bridge
    2011 Donates an additional portion of his papers to UCI Libraries

    Biography

    Raymond L. Watson, former president of The Irvine Company, began his career with The Irvine Company in September 1960. With the exception of the years 1977 to 1983, Watson has been involved continuously with the company in various capacities.
    With landholdings encompassing over 90,000 acres, The Irvine Company's origins date to 1864, when James Irvine I established the Irvine Ranch upon acquiring 185 square miles of Mexican and Spanish land grants. His son, James Irvine II, incorporated the holdings in 1894, founding The Irvine Company.
    Born in Seattle, Washington, on October 4, 1926, Watson was raised in Oakland, CA, and attended UC Berkeley, where he received a B.A. in Architecture in 1951 and a M.A. in Architecture in 1953. Stan Ott, planning director of the City of Stockton, CA, gave Watson his first job, planning a civic center for the City. In 1960, Ott, who then worked at The Irvine Company, hired Watson to be the first manager of planning. In that role, Watson was instrumental in the early years of development of the Irvine Ranch and the City of Irvine.
    Under his guidance, the City of Irvine became a model planned community, with award-winning housing developments such as Woodbridge and Westpark, complemented by the city's many parks, trails, open spaces and commercial developments.
    Watson moved up the ranks through various vice president positions, and in 1973 was named president and CEO, positions he held until his resignation in 1977. From 1983 to 2004, Watson was a member of the board at Walt Disney Company, serving as its chairman from 1983 to 1984. In September 1986, he rejoined The Irvine Company as vice chairman until his retirement in 2003. As of 2006, he remains a member of the board. As a tribute to Watson's many years of service to the City of Irvine, the bridge connecting the UC Irvine campus to the University Center across Campus Drive was named the "Raymond L. Watson Bridge" in October 2005.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    This collection comprises the extant files of Raymond L. Watson, former president and CEO of the Irvine Company. Included in the collection are Watson's speeches, correspondence, and writings; Irvine Company records, publications, and reports; subject files relating to the Irvine Company, the Irvine Ranch, the City of Irvine, the University of California, Irvine, and Orange County, California; and professional files on topics such as city planning, housing, and new towns. Of particular interest are Watson's own writings on planning, community development, and the City of Irvine.
    The materials in this collection were personally collected by Watson over the years. They represent his very selective record of topics of particular interest, rather than a complete record of his professional work and activities. The official records of his various positions with the Irvine Company remain with the Company.

    Collection Arrangement

    This collection is arranged in 5 series.
    • Series 1. Writings and professional files, 1961-2008. 2.2 linear feet
    • Series 2. The Irvine Company files, 1954-2008. 7.3 linear feet
    • Series 3. City of Irvine files, 1970-2005. 2 linear feet
    • Series 4. Subject files on city planning and planned communities, 1963-2006. 2.5 linear feet
    • Series 5. Other subject files, 1954-2009. 1.8 linear feet

    Related Collections

    The following collections in Special Collections and Archives contain related material:
    • AS-089, Regents of the University of California Papers on the Irvine Community Plan
    • AS-067, Philip L. Boyd Collection on University of California, Irvine Site Selection

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of the Special Collections and Archives.

    Separation Note

    As requested by the donor, .6 linear feet of material was returned to the donor as the items were either duplicates and already represented in the collection or out of scope.

    Other Finding Aid

    The digital files and images can be searched and accessed through UCIspace @ the Libraries .

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Irvine Company.
    Irvine family
    Irvine Ranch (Calif.) -- History.
    University of California, Irvine -- Planning -- Archives.
    Watson, Raymond L., 1926-
    Academic dissertations
    Born digital
    Campus planning -- California -- Irvine.
    Cities and towns -- Growth
    City planning -- California -- Irvine -- Archives.
    City planning -- History
    Community development -- California -- Orange County
    Correspondence
    Irvine (Calif.)
    New towns
    Newport Beach (Calif.).
    Orange County (Calif.) -- History -- Sources
    Orange County (Calif.) -- Planning -- 20th century.
    Photographic prints -- California -- Orange County.
    Planned communities -- California -- Orange County -- History -- Sources
    Publications
    Reports
    Slides
    Speeches