Welcome to Westminster, California!
Westminster is admired for its rich heritage and diversity of population. There is a genuine cooperative effort among residents and businesses to provide a better business climate with strong economic development as well as progressive education, excellent civic and recreation services, and cultural programs.
Westminster’s slogan—“City of Progress Built on Pride”—emphasizes not only its continuing growth but also its beginnings in 1870 as the second deliberately established colony in what is now Orange County.
Reverend Lemuel P. Webber, a Presbyterian minister, purchased some 6,000 acres of the Stearns Ranch and named the area after the much-admired Westminster tenets of 1643. He offered 40-acre farm plots to those persons who wished to help establish a colony of high moral values and temperance.
Commerce began with a cooperative general store on Almond Street, now Westminster Boulevard. Within ten years, three churches, a newspaper, and several businesses were established. And an additional 1,800 acres had been purchased for the town. By 1907, a library, telephone, railroad for shipping, passenger train, and the towns first park, Sigler Park had been added. And Westminster Chamber of Commerce had been socially organized.
Between World Wars I and II, Westminster continued to be a farming community--a small town known as "a good place to raise a family." Beginning in the late 1940's through the 5O's, agricultural land began housing tracts were built to accommodate the growing population. Elementary and intermediate schools mushroomed and the first high school was built in 1957 and the town became the incorporated City of Westminster. The current Civic Center was built in 1968 and today the Civic Center complex features carefully planned buildings including City Hall, Police Department, Community Services Department, Senior Center, Council Chambers and the West Justice Center, a County courthouse.
In 1975, with the fall of Saigon, Vietnamese refugees left their homeland and resettled in the United States. The largest number moved to Westminster, CA because of its climate and job opportunities. In September 1989, the area was formally dedicated as the Little Saigon district in the City of Westminster. It quickly became a major tourist attraction.
Another major attraction to the area was the opening of Westminster Mall, also in 1975. As businesses flooded in to take advantage of the mall's location, it in turn attracted more businesses to relocate to Westminster.
In 2002, Westminster began its new century of growth. Modern structures were built to house the growing needs of the residents of Westminster.
- A joint ground breaking for the city's community cultural arts center and a Coastline Community College satellite campus in Westminster adjacent to the Civic Center. The cultural arts center was named the Westminster Rose Center, housing both the Rose Center Theater and the Crystal Ballroom / Bamboo Terrace, a banqueting and conference center. The college campus was named the Coastline Community College, Le-Jao Center. Both opened in 2006.
- The Vietnam War Memorial in Westminster in Sid Goldstein Freedom Park was dedicated in 2003 as were two 8-million gallon water tanks at Hazard and Hoover.
- The Miriam Warne Community Building was opened in 2010. The Silver L.E.E.D. building houses a city Community Room and is the home of Westminster Chamber of Commerce.
- Westminster's state-of-the-art police department building, another Silver L.E.E.D. building, was dedicated in 2011
- The Westminster Civic Center Parking Structure, the city's first multi-story parking structure, was dedicated in 2012.