San Fernando Valley

The Valley still striving

Valley's Miracle Mile
Back in the 1920s, when Ventura Boulevard through Sherman Oaks was a two-lane highway with dirt shoulders, real estate agents pitched it as the "Wilshire Boulevard of the Valley." It was so preposterous that people must have laughed. Well, sometimes the Valley just never learns. Eighty years later, the district of Encino Commons — an entity created with the "sole purpose of transforming the business area on Ventura Boulevard between White Oak and Balboa Boulevards" — has taken to calling its piece of Ventura Boulevard "The Valley's Miracle Mile." Mark Frauenfelder, a dedicated Valleyite who snapped the photo this morning, calls the gesture sadly second-rate: "Imagine West Hollywood with a sign on Sunset that said 'The Westside's Ventura Boulevard.'" I agree. Never mind that the real Miracle Mile dates to the 1920s and hasn't been hot in about a generation — can't one of the Valley's most affluent areas do better?

After the jump: Ventura at Van Nuys Boulevard, then called Cahuenga Park, in 1927.

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