Brentwood is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. It is located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population is 51,481 as of 2010.
Brentwood began as a farming community in the late 19th century, and still is known throughout the Bay Area for its agricultural products, primarily its cherries, corn and peaches. Many of the old farms and orchards have been replaced by suburban developments since 1990. Brentwood is increasingly residential, with the rate of population growth in the triple digits during the 1990s and 69% from 2000 through 2005.
As shown by the view from Mount Diablo, Brentwood is located on the alluvial plain of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. In this picture, Brentwood is in the center right and the city of Antioch is in the center left. North Peak, appears in the foreground between the two cities and largely hides the city of Oakley.
Brentwood has a total area of 14.81 sq mi (38.4 km2), of which 14.79 sq mi (38.3 km2) is land and 0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2) or 0.13% is water. The landscape on the west is marked by rolling hills, native grasses, oak trees, fruit orchards, and vineyards, with a number of public golf courses.
History of Brentwood
Brentwood was originally laid out on land donated from property owned by John Marsh, an East Contra Costa County pioneer who acquired Rancho Los Meganos, the land grant that Brentwood is built upon, in 1837 from Jose Noriega. Brentwood was named after Marsh’s ancestral home, the town of Brentwood in the County of Essex, England.
Brentwood’s first post office was established in 1878. The city incorporated in 1948.
Balfour, Guthrie & Co., a British investment company, purchased the John Marsh ranch in 1910. The company invested heavily in other California agricultural properties as well. In 1910, it built the Brentwood Hotel at Oak Street and Brentwood Boulevard, across from the railroad station. This replaced an earlier hotel on the same site that had burned down in 1903. The hotel was razed in 1967, and replaced by a service station.
The Brentwood water tower perhaps symbolizes the city’s transition from a rural farm community to a modern bedroom community. This landmark on Walnut Street, across the street from the Brentwood Park and Ride lot, is the tallest structure in the city. It is no longer used for its original purpose, but now serves as a cell phone tower. City water is stored in large tanks atop hills outside the city.
During the 1990s, a great deal of retail stores were built along the Brentwood/Antioch border on Lone Tree Way at the SR 4 Bypass, about 3.5 miles (5.6 km) from downtown Brentwood. This includes major tenants such as Kohl’s, Trader Joe’s, Home Depot, Lowes. Slatten Ranch Shopping Center, actually on the Antioch side of Lone Tree Way, includes Target, Sport Chalet and Barnes & Noble. J. C. Penney opened its Slatten Ranch store in March 2008.
The Streets of Brentwood, an outdoor lifestyle retail center, opened in Brentwood in the Fall of 2008. The Streets of Brentwood’s upscale shops include Banana Republic, Coldwater Creek, DSW Shoes, Jos. A. Bank, REI, Swarovski, Victoria’s Secret, and White House/Black Market. The only all-digital Rave Motion Pictures in the San Francisco Bay Area is located in the Streets of Brentwood. Dining establishments found in Streets of Brentwood include Bangkok 101, Mel’s Diner, Grazie! Grill, Salad Makers, and Red Robin.
The city broke ground for a new civic center in November, 2009. The Mission-style architectural inspiration for City Hall, the main building, was the 1910 Brentwood Hotel. Related facilities include a parking garage and a community center. City departments began moving into the new facility in October 2011, and the former city hall was demolished during November 2011.
Education in Brentwood
Brentwood’s public education system has about 7 elementary, 3 middle, and 3 high schools. The city is served by the Brentwood Union School District, Knightsen School District and the Liberty Union High School District. The Brentwood Union School District runs on a modified traditional school calendar. The Brentwood Union School District has many California Distinguished Schools. Heritage High School includes a full range of Advanced Placement courses and the highest API score in the area, stellar performing arts programs, and championship athletic teams.
Los Medanos College operates a satellite facility at Sand Creek Road and Brentwood Blvd. (Highway 4).
Brentwood was one of 118 cities designated by KaBOOM! as a Playful City USA for 2010 – with only 10 in California and only Brentwood, Redwood City and San Francisco in Northern California. Each community selected demonstrated creative commitments to the cause of play and fitness. Brentwood was selected for a variety of reasons, including that fact that it offers the community its Wellness Policy, a community-wide aspirational goal which promotes physical activity and education as the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. Brentwood has 58 parks within nearly 12 square miles (31 km2), and miles of jogging trails, to support healthy lifestyles.
All information about Brentwood courtesy of Wikipedia.