California’s Third Largest City is a Ghost Town

California City, California is the state’s third largest city and if you haven’t heard of it, don’t be alarmed… you’re not stupid. California City is the infamous city that never happened!

The city was born as land speculation was high and dreams were ambitious. California’s population was booming in the 1960’s and there was a rush to find everyone that slice of American living complete with a car, a house, and a chicken in every pot. Enter Nathan Mendelsohn who planned a haven for Californians who wished to get away from the congestion of Los Angeles. Mendelsohn purchased 186.5 square miles of desert and brought in city planners who laid out streets, parks, neighborhoods and industrial districts. California City was ready for thousands of people to live there… the problem was, no one was moving there.

Without a reason for the city to be there, people didn’t have a reason to move in. Mendelsohn eventually sold the property and moved on to other projects. To this day there are only 8,385 living in the huge city. Hundreds of streets still litter the desert floor unused… the unfinished nervous system of the city that never was.




About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.