In 1998 the city of Torrance had spent over 45 million dollars renovating downtown Torrance. Back in the early 1900's in the days of the Red Car Lines, downtown Torrance was the hub of the South Bay and a main link to Los Angeles and other cities. Torrance was the premier shopping area for residents of the beach cities. Shoppers from Redondo Beach would hop on the Red Car to shop at Levy Department Store or Woolworths on Sartori Avenue.
After the Del Amo Mall was built, the shopping area in downtown Torrance faced a decline. The city of Torrance wanted to preserve the history of the old downtown and financed the Redevelopment Project that took five years to complete. Now the attractive tree-lined streets are home to antique and specialty shops as well as award winning bakeries and restaurants.
The restored downtown looked great but the local merchants were looking for a way to make downtown a destination for shoppers. The Downtown Torrance Association (a non-profit group of business owners and residents) decided to create a monthly street faire that would draw people from all over Southern California.
The Torrance Antique Street Faire debuted in October 1998 and has grown from 25 to over 180 vendors and attracts thousands of shoppers to downtown each month. It has consistently been voted 'The Best in the South Bay' by the Daily Breeze newspaper's annual reader's poll.