San Fernando Valley

Touring the history of the Valley in five hours

survey-la-tour-tujungaave.jpgA couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I took a day to serve as guide for the team of architecture historians, researchers and others who will be studying the pre-1980 San Fernando Valley for the SurveyLA project. That's the city's big effort to identify every building in Los Angeles that has historical value. It was fun to talk again about stuff from my book, The San Fernando Valley: America's Suburb (now ten years old, and sadly all but out of print) and introduce some of the experts to places they didn't know existed. The tour ranged from North Hollywood and Toluca Lake across the Ventura Boulevard corridor to the western city limits. I also got to talk about Winnetka's origins as a back-to-the-earth poultry colony, but we didn't have time to visit. David Barboza took pictures and blogged about the day.

Couple of clarifications to his report, just for the historical record. The Beatles did not play at the Bob Eubanks' Cinnamon Cinder club (they held a press conference before performing at Hollywood Bowl in '64), gangster Mickey Cohen did not shoot Jack Whalen at Rondelli's (but he was there when it happened), and the flooding that triggered the construction of Sepulveda Dam and cementing of the Los Angeles River occurred in 1938.

SurveyLA is holding a community workshop tonight on its next slice of the Valley (La Tuna Canyon, Sun Valley, Van Nuys, Reseda and the rest of Sherman Oaks), starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Van Nuys branch library.

And by the way, Los Angeles may not yet have a museum devoted to its history, but the San Fernando Valley does.

Photo: Coffee break on Tujunga Avenue in Valley Village


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