Henry Segerstrom determined early on that the key ingredient for successful urban centers is access to amenities that elevate a community’s sense of well-being and contribute vitality to its social values.
Important among these amenities, Henry felt, was art that could be made available to the public. His family was united in this conviction that public art and the performing arts were indispensable to any major metropolitan development, and that cultural activities are a key ingredient of successful urban planning.
Henry Segerstrom’s personal involvement with designers, contractors, the business community, and artists has helped make him a friend and trusted collaborator, rather than simply a developer with an ambitious vision. His focus of collecting art seems to parallel his attention to architecture and the development of the performing arts in Orange County. Public art commissions were integral to his long-term plans for his cultural and commercial initiatives.
Segerstrom observed how art could have an expansive effect on architecture. He could effectively use human-scale artworks and park-like vistas to create a counterpoint to the vertical rise of the surrounding buildings. Of great importance to him is the fact that in all the varied settings around South Coast Plaza, the Town Center Plaza, and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, all the visual and performing arts are accessible.