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Chronicling the family business through the years.

This story first appeared in the April 23, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Late 1800s
• Charles Johan and Berthe Segerstrom (grandparents of Henry Segerstrom) emigrate to the U.S. from Sweden, first settling in St. Paul, Minn. They soon move to Santa Ana, Calif., and have a total of 11 children.

• C.J. Segerstrom begins amassing land in Orange County, starting with a 10-acre acquisition. The family begins a farm and eventually becomes the largest grower of lima beans in the country.

April 5, 1923
• Henry Thomas Segerstrom is born, the second of two children of Anton and Nellie Ruth Segerstrom. (His sister is Ruth Ann Segerstrom.)

• Henry Segerstrom enlists in the U.S. Army at age 19, after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He rises in rank from private to captain in field artillery and is awarded the European Theater of Operations Medal with Battle Star, the Purple Heart and the Good Conduct Ribbon.
• Segerstrom, having graduated from Stanford Business School with an M.B.A., joins C.J. Segerstrom & Sons, which at the time was focused on agriculture. It eventually becomes a real estate development company.

• Henry marries Yvonne de Chaviney Perry. They have three children: Andrea, Toren and Anton. (The marriage ends in divorce in 1981.)

• May Co. and Sears open on the family’s land, marking the start of the Segerstrom family’s foray into retail.

• South Coast Plaza opens with 70 stores on March 15.

RELATED STORY: Henry Segerstrom, The Cultivator >>

• The first expansion brings Bullock’s and 60 more stores to the center.

• South Coast Plaza begins introducing luxury retailers. The first is Courrèges.


• South Coast Plaza’s Concierge Program begins.
• Yves Saint Laurent, Halston and Mark Cross open.

• I. Magnin opens.


• Nordstrom opens its first store outside the Pacific Northwest at South Coast Plaza.

• Saks Fifth Avenue opens.

• Henry marries arts patron Renée Mary von Issenberg. (She dies in 2000.)


• Henry’s son Anton Segerstrom officially joins South Coast Plaza.

RELATED STORY: Anton Segerstrom’s South Coast Story >>

• Second expansion: Crystal Court wing opens with 60 stores.
• Nordstrom expands to 235,000 square feet, one of the company’s largest stores.
• Orange County Performing Arts Center opens.


• Tiffany & Co. opens.

• First overseas tourism outreach trip, a collaboration with the State of California and Japan, takes place.
• South Coast Plaza logo is placed on 2 million Coca-Cola cans distributed throughout California.

• The two Bullock’s locations reopen as a Macy’s and a Macy’s Men’s Store.


• Hermès opens.


• Crate & Barrel opens.
• The first Macy’s Home Furniture Store in the country opens.
• The Bridge of Gardens and Garden Terrace, designed by renowned landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson, opens.
• Henry marries his current wife, the former Elizabeth Macavoy.


• South Coast Plaza marks its 35th anniversary and surpasses $1 billion in annual sales.

• Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall opens at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.
• Richard Wagner’s acclaimed “Der Ring des Nibelungen” (“The Ring Cycle”) by the Kirov Opera has its North American premiere at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.
• South Coast Plaza completes a $35 million interior renovation project including all new flooring, teak seating and the addition of two glass observation elevators in Jewel Court.

RELATED STORY: The Segerstroms’ Art Project >>

• South Coast Plaza marks its 40th anniversary.
• Bloomingdale’s opens a 300,000-
square-foot Southern California flagship.

• The Penthouse, South Coast Plaza’s new luxury level, makes its debut adjacent to Nordstrom on Level 3. Christian Louboutin, Oscar de la Renta, Marché Moderne and Canali are the first Penthouse tenants.

• “Ancient Paths Modern Voices,” a festival celebrating Chinese culture, opens in collaboration with Carnegie Hall, South Coast Plaza and Philharmonic Society of Orange County, throughout Orange County.


• Louis Vuitton opens a private VIP atelier.
• South Coast Plaza is the first shopping center in the U.S. to install state-of-the-art charging stations for electric vehicles.


• Cartier expands to nearly 6,000 square feet to become the jeweler’s second-largest boutique in the U.S.
• South Coast Plaza introduces center-wide Lunar New Year celebrations.
• Orange County Performing Arts Center changes its name to Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

• South Coast Plaza, marking its 45th anniversary, becomes the first U.S. shopping center to accept the China Union Pay Card.
• Diane von Furstenberg, M Missoni, Red Valentino and Barbara Bui open their first Orange County boutiques.
• Roger Vivier opens its first West Coast flagship boutique.
• Vacheron Constantin, IWC Schaffhausen and Jaeger-LeCoultre open stores.
• South Coast Plaza records $1.5 billion in annual sales.


• Lanvin opens its first Orange County boutique in April.
• Brioni is slated to open an exclusive Orange County store in July.
• Berluti prepares to open its West Coast store in December.