6353 Van Nuys Bl is at the NW corner of Friar St and VNB, one block south of Victory.

I recently came across a commercial real estate advertisement for this building.

It is a 1939, streamline moderne style structure with 7,330 feet of leaseable space. Asking price to purchase is $2.1 million dollars.

The property description is very pleasant, sounding like a building that Mildred Pierce might have set her eyes upon:

“This renovated property is located at the signalized intersection of the northwest corner of Friar St. & Van Nuys Blvd. in Van Nuys, in close proximity to many government agencies, local institutions as well as a dozen car dealerships, all within a 2-mile radius. The Los Angeles Superior Court, the LA Department of Building and Safety, the Van Nuys Library and the DMV Office attract a large number of visitors and help to create a traffic count of over 36,000 cars per day. The property is located in an Opportunity Zone.”

On the DWP historical site, there is a photograph of this building, and that corner, and the bustling, prosperous, clean, diagonal parking surroundings of Van Nuys Boulevard in the 1950s. It housed an Owl Drug Store, a chain of its time. Back then, like now, Angelenos spent a large amount of their leisure time walking around drug stores and imagining that various potions for sale would restore youth and keep one alive for many years.

Postcard view looking north on Van Nuys Boulevard toward Friar Street with Owl Drug Store at the N/W corner.  Across the street, on the N/E corner, stands Cowdrey’s Pharmacy and the Beneficial Finance Company office.  Behind that can be seen the signs for Hart’s Jewelers and the Oasis Club “-DWP

VNB at Victory looking northwest. 1955 (DWP)

That was then. What exists now is too dirty and depraved for the family audience of this blog.

What is the use again of belaboring the tired state of Van Nuys in 2019? But belabor I must……

Beyond the walls of 6353 Van Nuys Bl. hundreds of people sleep on the street, behind alleys, on bus benches. Nobody shops here willingly anymore, in a state of happiness or anticipation or delight.

What we have now are memories of lawful and patrolled streets peopled by legitimate industries from the bad old days when women were living in #metoo times and were forced to wear dresses, hats, gloves, heels, and hose and men were enslaved in lifetime skilled jobs, promised pensions after retirement, with $2 a month health insurance premiums and put into paying $64.99 a month mortgages. Their children walked and rode bikes to local schools, and might have even gone to the corner store to buy candies or add to their stamp collections. Entertainment consisted of many musicals, westerns, dramas, comedies staring such forgotten nobodies as Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Lauren Bacall or Van Nuys’ Marilyn Monroe.

How lucky we are to be living now when our phones are our life and life beyond our phone is of no interest to us because what we want and desire is entirely online.


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