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City of Concord
—  City  —
Location of Concord in California.
Coordinates: 37°58′41″N 122°01′52″W / 37.97806°N 122.03111°W / 37.97806; -122.03111Coordinates: 37°58′41″N 122°01′52″W / 37.97806°N 122.03111°W / 37.97806; -122.03111
Country United States United States
State California California
County Contra Costa
 - Type Council-Manager
 - Mayor Guy S. Bjerke[1]
 - Senate Tom Torlakson (D)
 - Assembly Mark DeSaulnier (D)
 - U. S. Congress George Miller (D)
 - Total 80.6267 km2 (31.13 sq mi)
 - Land 80.6267 km2 (31.13 sq mi)
 - Water 0.0 km2 (0.0 sq mi)
Elevation 26 m (85.3 ft)
Population (2000)[2]
 - Total 121,780 (city proper)
 Density 3,928.39/km2 (4,041.0/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 94518, 94519, 94520, 94521
Area code(s) 925
FIPS code 06-16000
GNIS feature ID 1658308

Concord (pronounced /ˈkɒŋkərd/; formerly, Drunken Indian and Todos Santos)[3] is the largest city in Contra Costa County, California, USA, and the 202nd largest in the U.S. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 121,780. Originally founded in 1869 as the community of Todos Santos by Salvio Pacheco, the name was changed to Concord within months. The city is a major regional suburban East Bay center within the San Jose/San Francisco Metropolitan Area, and is located just 31 miles (50 km) east of San Francisco.



Concord, California[4]
Climate chart (explanation)
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm

Concord is located at 37°58′41″N 122°01′52″W / 37.97806°N 122.03111°W / 37.97806; -122.03111.[3] In terms of travelling distance on the ground, it is 29 miles (47 km) northeast of San Francisco, 22 miles (35 km) northeast from Oakland, 65 miles (105 km) southwest of Sacramento, and 51 miles (82 km) north of San Jose.[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 30.1 square miles (78.1 km²), all of it land.

The focal point of downtown Concord is Todos Santos Plaza, which encompasses an entire city block and is known for its farmers market, free summer concerts, and large number of surrounding restaurants. Much of the area immediately around downtown has recently been redeveloped, with new high-density apartment and condominium projects to take advantage of the close proximity to public transportation and the vibrant area surrounding the park. Despite this, crime and homelessness remain serious issues in the downtown area.[6][7]

To the north and east of downtown is the older residential area of Concord, with many homes dating back to before World War II. In the far northern edge of town is a primarily industrial area, dominated by the Tesoro Golden Eagle refinery (which is actually not located within city limits). The southeastern area of the city, centered along Clayton Road, is primarily residential and was mostly developed in the 1960s and 1970s. In the southwest area of the city is the primarily Latino neighborhood known as Four Corners, centered around the intersection of Monument Boulevard and Oak Grove Road.

Concord is bordered on the west by Pleasant Hill and the unincorporated community of Pacheco, on the south by Walnut Creek, on the southeast by Clayton, on the northeast by Pittsburg and the unincorporated community of Bay Point, and on the north by the unincorporated community of Clyde. Though it shares no border with Concord, Martinez (the county seat) is located almost immediately adjacent to Concord on the northwest.


Official date from the National Weather Service cooperative station in Concord shows average January temperatures are a maximum of 57.2°F and a minimum of 41.6°F. Average July temperatures are a maximum of 87.8°F and a minimum of 58.2°F. There are an average of 45.0 days with highs of 90°F (32°C) or higher and 3.8 days with lows of 32°F (0°C) or lower. The highest recorded temperature was 110°F on July 23, 2006. The lowest record tempeature was 24°F on December 23, 1998.

Average annual precipitation is 18.31 inches, falling on an average of 57 days annually. The wettest year was 1995 with 26.62 inches and dryest year was 2007 with 10.57 inches. The most rainfall in one month was 11.79 inches in December 2005, which included the 24-hour maximum rainfall of 3.95 inches on December 31.[8]


The valleys north of Mount Diablo were inhabited by the Miwok people, who hunted elk and fished in the numerous streams flowing from the mountain into the San Francisco Bay. In 1772 Spanish explorers began to cross the area, but did not settle here. In 1834 the Mexican land grant Rancho Monte del Diablo at the base of Mount Diablo was granted to Salvio Pacheco (for whom the nearby town of Pacheco is named).

Concord was founded under the name of Todos Santos (a name still borne by the central city plaza and park between Willow Pass Road and Salvio Street), on the initiative of Pacheco in 1869. It achieved prominence in the 19th century as a result of most residents of Pacheco relocating to Concord to avoid the devastation of fire and flood which crippled Pacheco's formerly booming economy. Concord was incorporated on February 5, 1905.

The area around Concord in the surrounding Ygnacio and Clayton Valleys was a large agricultural area. Crops that were grown included grapes, walnuts, wheat, hay, and even tomatoes. The area to the east (site of the Concord Naval Weapons Station) was the site of a few enormous wheat ranches over 5,000 acres (20 km2), and was almost a sea of wheat all the way to the marshes bordering Suisun Bay. During Prohibition, many vineyards were removed and replaced with walnut orchards. The town of Cowell now incorporated into Concord, produced cement.

The first Concord post office opened in 1872.[9]

On December 7, 2009, snow fell in parts of Concord (near the Clayton/Concord border).


Port Chicago disaster

The munitions on board a Navy cargo ship exploded while being loaded during World War II, resulting in the largest number of casualties among African Americans in any one incident during that war. On the evening of July 17, 1944 a massive explosion instantly killed 320 sailors, merchant seamen and civilians working at the pier. The blast was felt 30 miles away. A subsequent refusal by 258 black sailors to load any more ammunition was the beginning of the Navy's largest-ever mutiny trial in which 50 men were found guilty. Future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall sat in on most of the proceedings and declared that he saw a prejudiced court.[10]

Sunvalley Mall plane crash

On the evening of December 23, 1985, two days before Christmas, a twin-engine Beechcraft Baron, executing a missed instrument approach procedure from an approach to runway 19R of Buchanan Airport, lost control and crashed into the roof of nearby Sunvalley Mall, killing the pilot and two passengers and seriously injuring 84 Christmas shoppers in the crowded mall below, mainly by spraying them with burning fuel. Four of the victims on the ground later died from their injuries. The accident brought increased local opposition to the airport, and caused Pacific Southwest Airlines to delay scheduled passenger service that had been planned for the new year.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1870 400
1880 399 −0.3%
1890 373 −6.5%
1900 586 57.1%
1910 703 20.0%
1920 912 29.7%
1930 1,125 23.4%
1940 1,373 22.0%
1950 6,953 406.4%
1960 36,208 420.8%
1970 85,164 135.2%
1980 103,251 21.2%
1990 111,348 7.8%
2000 121,780 9.4%
Est. 2007 120,844 −0.8%

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 121,780 people, 44,020 households, and 30,329 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,041.0 people per square mile (1,560.0/km²). There were 45,083 housing units at an average density of 1,496.0/sq mi (577.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city is 70.71% White, 3.04% Black or African American, 0.76% Native American, 9.39% Asian, 0.50% Pacific Islander, 9.65% from other races, and 5.94% from two or more races. 21.81% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 44,020 households out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.1% were non-families. 23.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.22.

In the city the age of the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $55,597, and the median income for a family was $62,093. Males had a median income of $45,734 versus $34,860 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,727. About 5.2% of families and 7.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.0% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.

As of 2005, the racial makeup of the city had changed to: 63.9% White, 2.6% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 12.0% Asian, 0.8% Pacific Islander, 15.4% from other races, and 5.2% from two or more races. 26.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[13]


In the state legislature Concord is located in the 7th Senate District, represented by Democrat Mark DeSaulnier, and in the 11th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Tom Torlakson. Federally, Concord is located in part California's 7th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +19[14] and is represented by Democrat George Miller The rest is part of the 10th Congressional District formerly represented by Democrat John Garamendi, who was recently elected on November 3rd, 2009.


Concord has been primarily a bedroom community for San Francisco and Oakland over the last forty years, but during the last decades, jobs within the city have increased.[15] Corporations with strong Bay Area regional ties, such as Chevron and Bank of America, have established extensive back-office operations there, diversifying the local economy. Concord also has a strong retail sector including the Sunvalley Mall, one of the 50 largest malls in the USA, auto dealerships, Costco, and Fry's Electronics. Prior to its dissolution, Atrivo was headquartered in Concord.[16]

Naval Weapons Station

Aerial view of the Naval Weapons Station

To the north of the city of Concord is the Concord Naval Weapons Station, which was established in 1942. The station functioned as a World War II armament storage depot, supplying ships at Port Chicago. The Concord NWS supported war efforts during the Vietnam War and through the end of the Gulf War, processing and shipping out thousands of tons of war materiel to Southeast Asia and the Middle East.[17]

The station consists of two areas: the Inland Area (5,170 acres (21 km2)) which is within the Concord city limits, and Tidal Area (7,630 acres (31 km2)).[18] Because of changes in military operations, parts of the Inland Area began to be mothballed and by 1999, the station had only a minimal contingent of military personnel. In 2007 the U.S. Federal Government announced that the inland portion of the Naval station will be closed. The Tidal area of the base is not scheduled for closure.[17] The city is working on a reuse plan that may include developing the land while keeping a large portion for open-space and parks projects. The city has had many meetings on this subject and will continue to do so. Any plan for reuse is subject to approval by the Navy.[18][19]


Until 1995 the city was the eastern terminus of the Concord line of Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) commuter train system; the line has since been extended eastward to Pittsburg/Bay Point. The County Connection provides limited public transportation in the city and to other points in the county. Buses run from the North Concord BART station to Martinez, the county seat.

Overlooking the North Concord Bart Station

Main thoroughfares include Willow Pass Road, Concord Avenue, Concord Boulevard, Clayton Road, Ygnacio Valley Road and Treat Boulevard. The city is also served by Interstate 680, and state highways 4 and 242.

Buchanan Field Airport is a public county-owned airfield in the City of Concord. It currently does not have any scheduled passenger service, but was once served by WestAir, Pacific Southwest Airlines, and later U.S. Airways for a short time.


The city of Concord is served by the daily newspaper, the Contra Costa Times published by the Bay Area News Group-East Bay (part of the Media News Group, Denver, Colorado), with offices in Walnut Creek. The paper was originally a paper run and owned by the Lesher family. Since the death of Dean Lesher in 1993, the paper has had several owners. The publisher also issues a weekly paper, the Concord Transcript, which is the local paper for Concord and nearby Clayton.


Concord is served by the Mount Diablo Unified School District. Concord's Clayton Valley High School is home to several acclaimed California academies, specifically ClaytonArts Academy, a four year English, social studies and arts based program with an emphasis on cross curriculur projects. Concord is also home to Mt. Diablo High School, opened in 1905, and home to the Digital safari, a three-year program involving the integration of multimedia with the core curriculum through integrated, project-based learning. Concord's De La Salle High School is home of the record winning streak of 151 games set by the football team between 1992 and 2004. During that span, De La Salle won 12 California North Coast sectional championships, and was named national champion five different times (once by ESPN, four times by USA Today).

Ygnacio Valley High School won the 1987 Northern California Boys Division I Basketball Championship, Coached by Jim Grace.

De La Salle High School (a private Catholic High School) is bordered by its sister school Carondelet High School and Ygnacio Valley High School.

The headquarters of the Kabul Soccer Club is located in Concord.

Concord High School, home of the Minutemen.

California State University, East Bay has a campus in Concord.

Arts and culture

Concord is the home of the annual Concord Jazz Festival and was the home of the Concord Records jazz record label until it was bought in 1999.

Jazz musician Dave Brubeck was born in Concord[20] and a park on Concord Boulevard, adjacent to Concord High School, was recently renamed in his honor (see below). Film star Tom Hanks and Broadway actress Meredith Patterson were born in Concord. Actor Mark Hamill, Olympic gold-medalist Natalie Coughlin and mixed martial artist Gil Castillo have also been Concord residents. Actor/Comedian Carlos Alazraqui attended Concord High School. Concord is the original home of the counter-cultural icons Negativland. Concord is also where American rock group The Federalists are based.

Concord is also home to the 13-time World Champion Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps. The corps is made up of talented musicians from around the world. The Concord Blue Devils are the most decorated drum and bugle corps in the history of Drum Corps International.

Public Access Television is operated through TelVue Virtual Television Networks.

Points of interest


  • Six Flags Waterworld Concord
  • Pixie Playland
  • Concord Skatepark
  • Todos Santos Park
  • Willow Pass Community Park
  • Ygnacio Valley Park
  • Newhall Community Park
  • Lime Ridge Open Space
  • Dave Brubeck Park
  • Rick Sears Memorial Park
  • Matteo's Dream - a playground for children of all abilities
  • Concord Community Pool[3]

Sister city

In 1974 Concord became a sister city with Kitakami, Iwate, in Japan. The city established a small Japanese style park in the city, and placed half of a sculpture, The Communion Bridge, in it. The matching half of the bridge is in Kitakami.[23]


  1. ^ City of Concord City Council / Elected Officials, official city web site, retrieved on 2007-12-27
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Concord, California
  4. ^ MSN Weather
  5. ^ City of Concord City Profile, official city web site, retrieved on 2007-08-16
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^
  9. ^ Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Quill Driver Books. p. 618. ISBN 9781884995149. 
  10. ^ Allen, Robert L. (2006). The Port Chicago Mutiny. Berkeley, CA: Heyday Books. p. 118. ISBN 9781597140287. OCLC 63179024. 
  11. ^ Moffatt, Riley. Population History of Western U.S. Cities & Towns, 1850-1990. Lanham: Scarecrow, 1996, 26.
  12. ^ "Subcounty population estimates: California 2000-2007" (CSV). United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2009-03-18. Retrieved 2009-05-10. 
  13. ^ "2005 American Community Survey Data Profile Highlights: Concord city, California". US Census Bureau. Retrieved 2007-03-24. 
  14. ^ "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". Campaign Legal Center Blog. Retrieved 2007-10-20. 
  15. ^ City of Concord demographics. Accessed 2007-08-13
  16. ^ Krebs, Brian. "Report Slams U.S. Host as Major Source of Badware." The Washington Post. August 28, 2008. Retrieved on August 31, 2009.
  17. ^ a b Concord Navel Weapons Station Reuse Information Portal. Retrieved 2007-08-13
  18. ^ a b About the City of Concord Community Reuse Project, official city web site'. Retrieved 2007-08-13
  19. ^ "Concord Naval Weapons Station". Contra Costa Times website collection of articles. Retrieved 2007-08-13
  20. ^ Reception honors Concord native son, jazz great Dave Brubeck, official city web site, retrieved on 2007-01-15
  21. ^ Official Camp Concord homepage
  22. ^ Largest homeland disaster during World War II from the National Park Service
  23. ^ City of Concord Sister City, official city web site, retrieved on 2007-08-16

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