“W.P. Whitsett recounts the tale of the founding of Van Nuys at the city’s 23rd birthday party. February 22nd, 1934.”
UCLA Library, Digital Collections.
If he could only see it now, the great progress Van Nuys has made, culturally, aesthetically, economically……
Adrian Rhetoric at Woodley Park.
USC Digital Archives
“Photograph of a huge pepper tree, Lankershim Boulevard and Victory Boulevard, Van Nuys, July 1928. A man in a suit stands at right looking up at the short, wide tree. The tree reaches over the dusty, weed-spotted yard at center where a pile of wood sits at left and a covered automobile sits parked at right. Several buildings stand along the street that extends down the far left into the background. Houses stand under electrical poles and trees in the right background.”- USC Digital Archives
Huge pepper tree, Lankershim Boulevard and Victory Boulevard, Van Nuys, July 1928
Source: USC Digital Archives
Here is a great old photograph of Van Nuys Blvd at Friar St. in 1950.
In 1950, there was still diagonal parking along the boulevard, an arrangement that helped to create a sense of enclosure and neighborliness. Some of the signs along the street were Whelan Drugs, Van Nuys Stationery Store and Bill Kemp Sportswear for Men. On the left side of the photo: a See’s Candies and other small retailers whose facades have been modernized behind flat slabs.
This bustling scene was already on the way out as regional shopping centers, such as Valley Plaza (1951), made their way into the San Fernando Valley and lured customers with lots of parking and giant stores.
While the massive migration of illegal immigration has certainly changed Van Nuys, the post-war decisions of Los Angeles, her government, her people and her power brokers, to widen streets and remove streetcars, to build freeways not trains, and to develop every last square inch of orange grove and meadow, these are the true killers that robbed us of our historic inheritance.
Life was more civilized back then and we can only look back in awe.
This photograph is offered for sale at DECOR ART GALLERIES 12149 Ventura Blvd. Studio City, CA 91604 (818) 755-0755
Valley Performing Arts Center
I am currently photographing and writing about the VPAC in preparation for an upcoming magazine launch.