Fullerton is a city in north Orange County, just north of Anaheim and other major employment centers and destinations. The community began as a railroad town, and its historic downtown evolved around the City’s train station. In the last several years, downtown Fullerton has become a hot spot of activity, accommodating many restaurants, new housing, and stores. This case study examines the City’s efforts over the last two decades to revitalize the downtown by capitalizing on the district’s transit accessibility and rich legacy of historic buildings.
The City of Fullerton began as a railroad town, named after the agent of the Santa Fe Railroad Company who purchased the right-of-way for a new railroad that would run through the city. Fullerton’s economy boomed through most of the 20th century, fueled by food packing, oil fields, aviation and, following World War II, massive housing construction for returning veterans and their families.