Each of Irvine’s villages has a different architectural style and lifestyle emphasis. As one of the earliest villages, Walnut is intended to have a prairie-style architectural theme. Walnut is the name of the neighborhood as well as a major anchor street. Irvine’s master planners didn’t choose the village’s name simply because they enjoyed that kind of nut, Walnut was developed from Irvine Ranch agricultural land and one of its most important crops was English walnuts. From 1893 to 1931, Orange County provided a third of the world’s English walnuts. Walnuts were not the only crop to be grown in the area. Along with citrus, tomatoes, strawberries, and lettuce were grown. An agricultural feel is still present in Walnut today.
Walnut is comprised of 559 acres which are bounded by Interstate 5, Irvine Center Drive, Culver, and Harvard Ave. Development of the first single-family home neighborhoods began in the early 1970s with The Colony and College Park. Most homes in Walnut Village were built between the 1970s and 1980s. Many homes have been upgraded and renovated. According to an OC Register retrospective on the neighborhood, some of the first families to buy homes in the village were responsible for all of their own landscaping. Much has changed since those early days and mature professional landscaping and curb appeal is a feature of Walnut’s family-friendly cul-de-sac streets and neighborhoods.
Residents of Walnut enjoy several suburban shopping centers and are also close to the Irvine Spectrum, a major regional shopping center. Walnut’s shopping centers feature a number of Asian/Pacific cuisine restaurants, from Korean to sushi and an outpost of local Hawaiian-inspired breakfast favorite, Stacks Pancake House. Due to its proximity to the University of California, Irvine, the neighborhood has a high number of faculty members and graduate students.
The majority of homes in Irvine’s Walnut neighborhood are single-family residences ranging from two- to five bedrooms. Smaller “starter” homes of 1,500 to 2,000 square feet are available. Walnut also has several private gated communities including Harvard Square which include security, maintenance, and other amenities. Homeowner’s association fees range from approximately $150 to $250 a month.
As with all neighborhoods in Irvine, families in Walnut Village enjoy access to Irvine’s excellent public schools. Students from Walnut Village may choose from highly-ranked elementary schools, an excellent middle school, and Irvine High School, a U.S. News & World Report silver award-winning school ranked in the top 300 California high schools.
- Harvard Community Park
- Lower Peters Canyon Park
- Plaza Park
- Deerfield Community Park
- Heritage Community Park
- College Park
- College Park Elementary School
- Deerfield Elementary School
- Greentree Elementary School
- Venado Middle School
- Irvine High School