Most photographs of the Valley Municipal Building show the 1933 building after its completion, but here are some, by Dick Whittington Studio as the hole was being dug in 1932.

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Statistics and specifications for the completed structure exist and have been cited many times, so I won’t do it here.

Instead, one might look at these photographs and imagine the small town of Van Nuys, self-sufficient and walkable, safe and sunny, sitting in the middle of the largely agricultural San Fernando Valley in the depths of the Great Depression.

Surrounding the t-shaped dig, is a Richfield gas station and The Erwin Hotel, criss-crossed in a vaguely Tudor style.

In contrast to today’s heavily regulated construction, the men are all in civilian clothing-no hardhats, no vast walls around the site, no safety signs. The humble trucks are pulled right up to dirt and a two strips of lumber comprise a fence surrounding the digging.

Laborers, architects, drivers, engineers, photographer; everyone was lucky to work.

With such opening modesty the end product was magnificent, distinguished and proud.
And became that symbol of Van Nuys everlasting.

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Writer/photographer

7 Comment on “Constructing the Valley Municipal Building, 1932

  1. Pingback: Van Nuys Arts Festival | Here in Van Nuys

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