If Henry Segerstrom had just opened the glitzy South Coast Plaza, his role in Orange County's cultural history would've been secure. But the real estate mogul, who passed away last week at 91, did far more than bring pricey boutiques to OC. His family's transformation of their lima bean fields pushed OC landowners to finally give up on the county's agricultural industry. He was the driving force behind bringing an arts center to the area—originally named the Orange County Center for the Performing Arts, it was renamed the Segerstrom Center in 2011 in his honor. And his spearheading of various philanthropic efforts set an example for the rest of OC's wealthy. Both the Segerstrom Center and South Coast Plaza are in no danger of disappearing without Henry's influence, which shows the strength of the institutions he helped to develop.
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