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Photos: California City, the metropolis that wasn't

Photos: California City, the metropolis that wasn't

Nathan Mendelsohn, a professor turned developer, believed California City would become the state's next San Fernando Valley. Instead it's a sleepy outpost that exists largely in the imagination.


"We put up new street signs and in a week they're gone," said Michael Bevins, California City's public works director. "How many times can you replace the sign that says Ford Street? It's pointless."
California City's "second community" has miles of mostly unpaved streets. In the background are a park and country club.
A California City neighborhood near its downtown area.
California City's Central Park features a golf course and a lake.
A pipe drips water on one of thousands of undeveloped lots as California City Public Works Manager Michael Bevins tours the city's "Second Community," where hundreds of square miles of streets and cul de sacs lead to empty lots.
A road crew works on the corner of Randsburg Mojave Road and California City Boulevard in California City.
Development is sparse in the vast area of California City known as the "Second Community," where hundreds of square miles of streets and cul de sacs lead to mostly empty lots.
A survey post tilts in the sand at California City's "Second Community."
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