The development of North Hollywood started in the early 1900s and was one of the earliest coherent towns in the San Fernando Valley.
Its commercial district, along Lankershim Blvd. was lively, prosperous, and safe.
After WWII, there was a brief flowering of progressive design along the commercial strip which sought to upgrade buildings and attract new customers.
In these photos, taken from the LAPL archives of the Valley Press, one can see a healthy and happy environment that, sadly, could not compete against large department stores and huge parking lots that were built, starting in the 1950s, near Victory and Laurel Canyon.
Ironically, the return of the Red Line subway to North Hollywood has spurred the renovation and rebirth of the Lankershim area into an arts district which is far more sustainable than an auto-oriented shopping mall. Sears and the Valley Plaza are now the blighted ones who are on the verge of being redeveloped.
It takes a village to make a community, not just 3,000 parking spaces.
So here we look, with wonder and envy, at the North Hollywood that once existed.