Van Nuys, Los Angeles
||This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (September 2012)|
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|— Neighborhood of Los Angeles —|
|Elevation||712 ft (217 m)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|ZIP code||91401, 91405, 91406, 91409, 91411|
|Area code(s)||747, 818|
Lot sales began at the new town of Van Nuys on February 22, 1911. The area is named after Isaac Van Nuys, who was of Dutch descent and a participant in a ranching enterprise called the San Fernando Homestead Association, a group that purchased most of the southern San Fernando Valley (south of present-day Roscoe Blvd.) in 1869 to grow grain and run sheep. Van Nuys split this huge acreage with his senior partner, Isaac Lankershim, getting the east area (present-day Lankershim Blvd. crossed his section). Van Nuys also built the first wood frame house in the San Fernando Valley in 1872.
The City of Los Angeles and William Mulholland were building the Owens River aqueduct, starting in 1905 and to be finished in 1913. The San Fernando Valley was where the water was headed first, and speculators were out to buy the Van Nuys Ranch and subdivide it into 3 cities, Van Nuys, Marian (now Reseda), and Owensmouth (now Canoga Park) and start land sales just as the aqueduct was finished. Isaac Van Nuys took his money, left not much more than his name on the town, and returned to his Los Angeles elite. An office building was built from the proceeds remaining in the downtown of the city of Van Nuys.
Speculators, organized into the Los Angeles Suburban Home Association, including Harry Chandler and Harrison Gray Otis of the Los Angeles Times, Moses Sherman, a streetcar line owner, and Hobart Johnstone Whitley, a real estate promoter with ties as far back as the "Land Run of 1889" (the Great Oklahoma Land Rush), bought Mr. Van Nuys out and prepared to "sell" the San Fernando Valley.
From the grand opening and barbecue, Washington's Birthday 1911, Van Nuys was sold as "The Town That Started Right," plotted with set-asides for a high school and commitments to build important buildings "first," including the Bank of Van Nuys, changed but still standing on the southwest corner of Van Nuys Blvd. and Sylvan Street, to give a sense that the vacant lots sold, with little more than stakes and ribbons flapping in the breeze, would bloom into a city. A major artery with a Pacific Electric "Red Car" line between the traffic was built all the way from Hollywood, over Cahuenga Pass, through Lankershim (now North Hollywood) out Chandler Blvd., turning right into Van Nuys on Van Nuys Blvd. and then turning to the west on Sherman Way to extend to the other "new cities" on the Van Nuys Ranch, Marian (now Reseda) and Owensmouth (now Canoga Park). Big selling points by H.J. Whitley in 1911 were to take the Pacific Electric interurban and be downtown in an hour or drive the paved road alongside—("no speed limit" if your Model A could go 35 mph) all season.
The unlimited Owens River aqueduct water allowed oranges, orchards, and sugar beets to be available when the young Van Nuys voted to join the greater City of Los Angeles in 1915.
However, the so-called "Town That Started Right" was built on Tyrone Wash, two blocks east of Van Nuys Blvd, and would flood at the drop of a hat. Pontoon bridges were parked behind Van Nuys Elementary School, ready for a rainy day on Tyrone Avenue.
Two pioneers to be noted: Hobart Johnstone Whitley, promoter extraordinaire, one of the "Boomers" who built towns in a day after the 1889 "Oklahoma Land Rush," who drew the designs for some 150 towns with a stick in the dust, including the San Fernando Valley cities of Van Nuys, Reseda, and Canoga Park, and founder of Hollywood, just over the hill. Whitley also had a huge home along his ceremonial boulevard, the "first house" you saw as you turned from Chandler Blvd. onto Van Nuys Blvd.
William P. Whitsett bought a half-interest in the Van Nuys townsite and remained as real estate salesman and town booster. His influence grew till he was Chairman of the Metropolitan Water District, where he helped oversee the second great aqueduct that boosted Los Angeles's position, the Colorado River Aqueduct to Los Angeles in the 1930s. A life finished off by his building an 8-story bank building, tallest in the Valley, the Valley Federal building, currently the Phoenix Building, on Van Nuys Blvd. just north of Vanowen Street.
Written accounts in the 1910s and 1920s gave much of the credit to H.J. Whitley, but Whitsett's long residence in town and political savvy toward building the Colorado River aqueduct gave him more "historical credit" for the San Fernando Valley's progress.
Van Nuys developed slowly. Currently remaining is a fine collection of 1920s and 1930s churches and California-style bungalows, which now make up a "historic preservation overlay zone" (2004) generally east of the 1914 Van Nuys High School. By the end of World War II, when the GI's were demobilized and many came west, Van Nuys and the San Fernando Valley lived through a tremendous boom.
If you "cross" all your "T's" and "dot" all your "I's"—
You can get a job in "IT" (information technology)And you can live in Van Nuys..."
Van Nuys is in the heart of the San Fernando Valley and home to about 100,000 people; the main thoroughfare, Van Nuys Boulevard, is noted for its car dealerships, its "Auto Row". It also functions similar to a "county seat" for the Valley, with its Government Center (Erwin Street Mall) containing a branch of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Van Nuys police station, the Van Nuys offices for Los Angeles City Hall, Van Nuys State Office Building and a branch of the Los Angeles Public Library.
The 1945 General Motors Van Nuys Assembly Plant, a major manufacturing facility for General Motors's Chevrolet division along with aerospace and defense plants in neighboring cities led to a prosperity which inspired many to call the San Fernando Valley "America's suburb" (as in Kevin Roderick's book). Neighboring Panorama City sprung up - a thousand tract homes and 1950s mall, all on the promise of GM's new factory.
"America's suburb" had its own cultural institution—Wednesday night "cruising" on Van Nuys Blvd. If George Lucas and his movie American Graffiti were supposedly about Lucas's own Modesto teenage life, San Fernando Valley teenagers would disagree. Thousands of teenagers and their rebuilt 1940s and 1950s cars would flood Van Nuys Blvd. every Wednesday night, for years a "rite of passage" for any Valley teenager. By the 1980s, times had changed, and the LAPD stopped the tradition.
At the same time, Valley car culture and middle class jobs left when General Motors closed its assembly plant in 1992. When General Motors left, and the GM plant was dismantled in 1998, all that remained was a "big box store mall" called The Plant.
Like many central San Fernando Valley neighborhoods, Van Nuys was a middle-class neighborhood as late as the 1970s, but the demographics of some sections in Van Nuys have changed considerably since then.
In late 2004, the San Fernando Valley's first historic preservation overlay district was established in an area of early 20th-century bungalows east of Van Nuys High School (founded 1914). According to the November 23, 2004, 'Los Angeles Times', "The neighborhood has become a melting pot of ethnic groups and home styles. Nearby stand such historic buildings as Van Nuys High School (1914), the Spanish colonial "old Van Nuys library (1927), the WPA-funded Van Nuys City Hall (a miniature 1/3 size copy of the downtown City Hall) and the 12th Church of Christ, Scientist (1932)."
- 1872 – Eugene Garnier buys Rancho Encino and erects house of limestone beside de Osa adobe. Isaac Van Nuys builds first wood-frame house in Valley.
- 1911 – Van Nuys was platted and sold by the Los Angeles Suburban Home Company. H.J. Whitley, the Father of Hollywood, was the General Manager of the Syndicate. Van Nuys is planned around the Pacific Electric Red Car line—running out Chandler Bl from Lankershim (now North Hollywood), turning into Van Nuys Bl, running through Van Nuys, and turning out Sherman Way to the future towns Marion (now Reseda) and Owensmouth (now Canoga Park) from Los Angeles. Burbank and San Fernando officially incorporate.
- 1914 – Universal City opens as a studio-cum-town. Floods inundate Van Nuys and cut off Valley from Los Angeles. Van Nuys High School opens.
- 1920 – St. Elisabeth's Roman Catholic Church is established.
- 1928 – Metropolitan Field, the future Van Nuys Airport, opens. Stop signs posted at major intersections.
- 1932 – Van Nuys city hall built.
- 1937 – Two lions are spotted walking down Tyrone Ave.
- 1938 – Great floods on Los Angeles River and other streams on the Valley's flat plain kill 144 and highlight that many areas of the Valley are wide dry washes, unsuitable for development.
- 1941 – Sepulveda Dam and Hansen Dam are built in response to 1938's great floods. After World War II delay, a great public works program to channelize the Los Angeles River and other dry washes maximizes the Valley's post-World War II suburban development.
- 1942 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders all West Coast residents of Japanese heritage (including 3,100 in Valley, many of them American citizens) relocated to internment camps. The National Guard squadron at Griffith Park moves to the new Van Nuys Army Airfield.
- 1943 – Birmingham Army Hospital built for paraplegic World War II wounded at Balboa Blvd. and Vanowen St. in Van Nuys (which now is the site of several schools, including Birmingham Community Charter High School and Daniel Pearl Magnet High School).
- 1945 – On the day of the Hiroshima A-bomb blast (marking the end of WWII), General Motors announces the planned Van Nuys car plant, starting the Valley's great suburban boom of the 1950s.
- 1945–1950 – GM car plant and development of neighboring Panorama City (Valley's first mall) define the post WWII "suburban boom" that spread west, filling up the San Fernando Valley, and challenged Van Nuys' primacy as "Valley center".
- 1949 – Bethlehem Star Parade (a multi church-organized Nativity parade and bands) tradition begins in Van Nuys. Light standards of "Christmas angels" light up Van Nuys Blvd. Valley College opens.
- 1953 – Birmingham Army Hospital becomes Birmingham Jr. & Sr. High School, the third Jr. & Sr. High School in Van Nuys.
- 1960 – Ventura Freeway completed across the Valley. National Guard jets leave Van Nuys Airport over noise complaints. Population of Valley hits 840,000.
- 1960s – Van Nuys Civic Center, a kind of redevelopment, brings government functions as a Valley center while much of pioneer Van Nuys was torn down.
- 1960s–1980s – "Wednesday Cruise Night" on Van Nuys Bl. Though movie director George Lucas may claim American Graffiti was his youth in Modesto, thousands of Valley teenagers claimed "Van Nuys Blvd cruise night" as a vital teenage right of passage. Thousands of kids would turn out. Journalist Tom Wolfe writes of Valley car culture in The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby.
- 1966 – Busch Gardens amusement park opens in Van Nuys—closes in the 1970s.
- 1970 – Women join assembly line at Van Nuys GM plant.
- 1970 – Bethlehem Star Parade ends due to waning interest.
- 1975 – Wickes Furniture store opens on Sepulveda Boulevard.
- 1992 – General Motors plant in Van Nuys closes. With closing at Lockheed and others, the end of the post-WWII boom based on building cars and aerospace ends—the area's industrial base is in decline.
- 1994 – Van Nuys was hit by the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Several buildings were damaged in strong intensity, magnitude 6.7.
- 2005 – The Metro Orange Line (LACMTA) opens in Van Nuys.
- 2011 – Wickes Furniture store closes on Sepulveda Boulevard.
- 2011–2012 – Wickes Furniture building is demolished on Sepulveda Boulevard to make way for LA Fitness.
Van Nuys is located at  To the West is Reseda, Interstate Highway 405 and Van Nuys Airport. To the East is North Hollywood. To the South is Sherman Oaks. To the North is Panorama City.(34.1833, -118.4333).
Notable locations 
- The Japanese Garden
- Sepulveda Dam
- Busch Gardens Theme Park (now demolished—1964–1979)
- The Leo Magnus Cricket Complex
- Van Nuys FlyAway Bus service
- Van Nuys Boulevard
- 6842 Valjean Ave, the original location of director George Lucas' visual effects house Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). ILM abandoned the location for Marin County shortly after the release of the first Star Wars film. Following Lucas' departure, ex-ILM visual effects supervisor John Dykstra would use the facility as the headquarters for his own visual effects house, Apogee, Inc., using whatever equipment Lucas left behind
Notable people 
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt, actor, director, producer, and writer
- Paula Abdul, singer, songwriter, dancer, choreographer, actress and television personality
- Ernani Bernardi (1911–2006), musician and member of the Los Angeles City Council, 1961–93
- Tristan Bowen, soccer player
- Brandon Boyd, musician, author and visual artist.
- Andy Devine, actor, honorary mayor from 1938 to 1957
- Don Drysdale, baseball player
- Laurence D. Fink, financier
- Brian Austin Green, actor
- Robert Harland, actor
- Delamere Francis McCloskey, Los Angeles City Council member, 1941–43
- Marilyn Monroe, actress
- Matt Moore, professional football player
- Bill Paparian, mayor of Pasadena, California
- Robert Redford, actor
- Jake Richardson, actor
- Ricardo Rodriguez, professional wrestler and ring announcer
- Jane Russell, actress 
- Bob Waterfield, professional football player
- Hobart Johnstone Whitley, real-estate developer
- Cindy Williams, actress
- Natalie Wood, actress
- Todd Zeile, professional baseball player
Digital Playground a large adult movie studio operates at 16134 Hart Street.
Sound City Studios was a very well-respected recording studio located in Van Nuys.
Government and infrastructure 
Los Angeles Fire Department operates Station 39 (Van Nuys), Station 90 (Van Nuys Airport Area), Station 100 (West Van Nuys/Lake Balboa), and Station 102 (South Van Nuys/Valley Glen), serving the community.
The Los Angeles Police Department operates the nearby Van Nuys Community Police Station at 6420 Sylmar Avenue, 91401, serving the neighborhood .
County, state, and federal representation 
The United States Postal Service operates the Civic Center Van Nuys Post Office at 6200 Van Nuys Boulevard in Van Nuys and the Van Nuys Post Office at 15701 Sherman Way in the Lake Balboa neighborhood in Los Angeles, west of Van Nuys.
The California Department of Developmental Services operates the North Los Angeles County Regional Center on Sherman Way west of Sepulveda Boulevard in which it serves the large fast-growing population of developmentally disabled people in the San Fernando Valley being helped by the Government of California to house the developmentally disabled people in the area and help them meet special needs of normal life with special benefits.
The Social Security Administration operates a branch office on Van Nuys Boulevard north of Victory Boulevard in Van Nuys.
Parks and recreation 
The Van Nuys Recreation Area is in Van Nuys. The area has an auditorium and gymnasium with a capacity of 420 people. The area also has a multipurpose/community room with a capacity of 20–25 people. The area has barbecue pits, lighted baseball diamonds, lighted outdoor basketball courts, a children's play area, a community room, lighted handball courts, an indoor gymnasium with no weights, picnic tables, a lighted soccer field, and lighted tennis courts. Delano Park in Van Nuys has an auditorium, barbecue pits, a lighted baseball diamond, lighted outdoor basketball courts, a children's play area, a lighted football field, lighted handball courts, an indoor gymnasium with no weights, picnic tables, and a lighted soccer field.
The Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park is in Sherman Oaks, near Van Nuys. The park has an auditorium, two lighted baseball diamonds, six unlighted baseball diamonds, lighted indoor basketball courts, lighted outdoor basketball courts, a children's play area, a 60-person community room, a lighted football field, an indoor gymnasium without weights, picnic tables, a lighted soccer field, and lighted tennis courts. Located in the same place as the park, the Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Pool is a seasonal outdoor heated swimming pool. The Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Senior Citizen Center (a.k.a. Bernardi Center), also on the park grounds, has an auditorium and multi-purpose room; its banquet capacity is 200, and its assembly capacity is 300. The senior center also has two community/meeting rooms; one can hold 50 people, and one can hold 30 people. The senior center has two kitchens, a play area, a shuffle board place, a stage, and two storage rooms. The Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Tennis Courts facility in the Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park has eight courts.
Primary and secondary schools 
Public schools 
Van Nuys is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. LAUSD-operated schools within the Van Nuys community area include:
- Adult schools
- Van Nuys Community Adult School (on the same campus as Van Nuys High School)
- Charter school
- 6–12 schools
- Robert Fulton College Preparatory (Van Nuys)
- K–12 school
- Valley Alternative Magnet School (on the same block as Birmingham Community Charter High School)
- High schools
- Van Nuys High School
- Nearby schools:
- Middle schools
- Van Nuys Middle School (Sherman Oaks)
- Millikan Middle School (Sherman Oaks)
- William Mulholland Middle School (Lake Balboa)
- Elementary schools
- Bassett Street Elementary School (Lake Balboa)
- Columbus Avenue Elementary School
- Cohasset Street Elementary School
- Hazeltine Avenue Elementary School
- Sherman Oaks Elementary School (Sherman Oaks)
- Sylvan Park Elementary School
- Van Nuys Elementary School
- Valley Region Elementary School #9
- Valerio Street Elementary School
- Valerio Street Primary Center
Private schools 
- Children's Community School – an independent, progressive elementary school.
- St. Elisabeth's School – Preschool through 8th—Home of the Learning Academies and the Junior High Information Technology Preparatory Academy—Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles
- Montclair College Preparatory School
Public libraries 
The Van Nuys Branch Library of the Los Angeles Public Library serves the community.
|This section is incomplete. (February 2009)|
Van Nuys Airport, the busiest general aviation airport in the world, the 25th busiest airport in the United States, and among the 20 busiest airports in the world by aircraft movements, is located in Van Nuys.
The community includes a terminal for the FlyAway Bus, which travels from Van Nuys to Los Angeles International Airport. At one time Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines had ticket offices at the FlyAway terminal.
Property Values Associated With Neighborhood Name 
Some former Van Nuys neighborhoods have won approval by the Los Angeles City Council to break off from Van Nuys and join the neighboring communities of Lake Balboa, Valley Glen and Sherman Oaks in an effort to raise their property values.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Van Nuys, Los Angeles|
New Van Nuys Branch, Los Angeles Public Library, Sylmar Ave. Mall
Van Nuys Boulevard and Erwin St.
Van Nuys Boulevard and Delano St.
See also 
- The Valley Observed. (Nov. 24, 2005). San Fernando Valley history and sense of place. Obtained Nov. 22, 2006.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Van Nuys" entry on the Los Angeles Times "Mapping L.A." website
- "Don Drysdale Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
- "Matt Moore". Pro-Football-Reference.Com. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
- "Todd Zeile Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
- "TACA Offices." Grupo TACA. Retrieved on January 27, 2009.
- "Post Office Location—CIVIC CENTER VAN NUYS." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
- "Post Office Location—VAN NUYS." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
- Map. Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
- "The Los Angeles Region." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on January 17, 2010.
- "Van Nuys Recreation Area." City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 19, 2010.
- "Delano Park." City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 19, 2010.
- "Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park." City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 19, 2010.
- "Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Pool." City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 19, 2010.
- "Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Senior Citizen Center." City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 19, 2010.
- "Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Tennis Courts." City of Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 19, 2010.
- "Home." Daniel Pearl Magnet High School. Retrieved on September 1, 2011. "6649 Balboa Blvd., Van Nuys, California 91406-5529"
- Llanos, Connie. "Daniel Pearl Magnet High School small but mighty." Los Angeles Daily News. August 19, 2011. Retrieved on September 1, 2011.
- "Fast Facts." Montclair College Preparatory School. Retrieved on September 1, 2011. "School Address: 8071 Sepulveda Blvd., Van Nuys, CA 91402"
- "Campuses." Lycée International de Los Angeles. Retrieved on March 1, 2010. "Corporate" "Office" "7100 Hayvenhurst #104 Van Nuys, CA 91406"
- "RMG Airport Business Center." Gelb Group. Retrieved on September 1, 2011. "7100 Hayvenhurst Avenue, Van Nuys, California 91406"
- "FlyAway-Van Nuys." Los Angeles World Airports. Retrieved on November 20, 2012.
- "Ticket Offices and Phone Numbers." Northwest Airlines. June 13, 1998. Retrieved on November 20, 2012. "Northwest Airlines Van Nuys Flyaway Terminal 7610 Woodley Ave Van Nuys, CA 91406"
- "City Ticket Offices." Delta Air Lines. August 18, 2000. Retrieved on November 20, 2012. "Van Nuys Ticket Office 7610 Woodley Avenue Van Nuys, CA 91406" and "Location: Fly Away Bus Terminal at Woodley & Saticoy"
- Stewart, Jocelyn. "45-Block Area Exits Van Nuys : Neighborhoods: Area around junior high school joins Sherman Oaks, the fifth such change in the Valley since 1986.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 02/15/2013.
- The Los Angeles Times
- Van Nuys, Los Angeles at the Open Directory Project
- Van Nuys Neighborhood Council Map
- Van Nuys (neighborhood)
- Timeline of Valley history
- Van Nuys local portal