Mission Viejo 

Where "Home" is a "Hometown" again.


About the Neighborhood

In 1965, a master plan was developed that included many innovative ideas in community planning. First they sent representatives of the Mission Viejo Company to Seville Spain and decided that this new city, Mission Viejo, would incorporate many design elements found in Spain. These include "Barcelona" adobe brick entrance walls, Spanish street names, unique company and community signs, greenbelts, parks, recreation centers, neighborhood shopping, a large recreation lake and distinctive "Mission Bell" street lights that were meant to remind residents of Mission Viejo's link to Mission San Juan Capistrano and the El Camino Real. The community's master plan was stringently adhered to throughout construction and the area was enormously successful in terms of home sales. When the development first started prospective home buyers would stand in long lines just to view the model homes. As the community grew and as the development became the City of Mission Viejo,  the Mission Viejo Company under the ownership of the Philip Morris Company, initiated projects outside California. 

Through acquaintances, the land where the Mission Viejo Aurora project would be developed was purchased from Jess Kortz (a diamond entrepreneur) and others. On September 24, 1972 Mission Viejo officially opened with nine model homes. As in California, long lines of prospective home buyers made their way through the designer show homes. The homes were accented and marketed with what was called "Western Living with a Spanish flair". Essentially the first few filings of homes had a unique modern architectural style that can best be described as a mix of California Western Ranch House, Usonian and Colorado Craftsman. These new styles soon revolutionized the housing market in the Denver area as many other builders offered their own versions of the "California Contemporary".  

The plan for Mission Viejo Aurora, like its big sister community in California, was envisioned with greenbelts, walking paths to a school, shopping and a large community recreation center. Although the home styles changed throughout the building of the development the original plan remained intact. Like California, Mission Viejo Company employed the same types of signs as in California, the unique "Barcelona" entrance walls and implemented their famous "Mission Bell" streetlights throughout the community. Alicia and Marguerite Parkways are named after the two matriarchs of Rancho Mission Viejo in California, just as they are in Mission Viejo California. As the Mission Viejo Company ended the Aurora project, the company then went on to build its largest Colorado project, Highlands Ranch.  Mission Viejo was also the home of Colorado's 40th Governor, William Forrester "Bill" Owens while he was elected to his fist term in office. Today the community of Mission Viejo Colorado continues to mature and is still viewed as a very desirable family neighborhood in Aurora. 

Mission Viejo has it all, with nearby shopping, greenbelts and trails, a library, a private recreation center, a highly acclaimed elementary school, close proximity to golf at the public Meadow Hills Golf Course (1.5 miles), horseback riding, nature walks and boating/fishing at Cherry Creek State Park (2 miles), pioneer living history and natural history at the Plains Conservation Center (3.2 miles), E-470 public toll road (3.8 miles), or the ease of light rail public transportation (2.5 miles) which makes downtown Denver and the Denver Technological Center destinations within easy reach. Mission Viejo really is a community of great faces, places and spaces! 

The Year 2012 Marks the 40th anniversary of Mission Viejo, Aurora! To commemorate our 40th anniversary we have partnered with the Aurora History Museum and Denver Public Library’s Creating Your Community website. You are encouraged to visit the web site at: http://creatingcommunities.denverlibrary.org/community/mission-viejo-aurora where you will find digital copies of the Mission Viejo exhibit panels and photos of some of the homes and buildings as they were being constructed.

Check it out and be sure to upload and share any early photos or stories you may have of our community.

Click here for a link to the shared history of the city of Mission Viejo California.

If you are thinking about relocating to Aurora, please consider the value and amenities Mission Viejo offers. Also please feel free to sign up for our e-mailing list service if you would like more information on our community.

Here are some photos of our neighborhood as presented in a PowerPoint Slide show...click here (3.8 mb).



All vintage Mission Viejo photo images courtesy of the Aurora History Museum Collection. Other historic images are from the Denver Public Library, Western History Digital Image Collection.

Special Thanks also to the City of Mission Viejo California.