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Monday, September 28, 2009


2009 - The Year of Valley History

Miles Knudsen inspecting Abode Ruins of Campo de Cahuenga - Photo taken by Gerald Fecht for the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - September 2009.

One of the most important people working for the preservation of American and San Fernando Valley history is Miles Knudsen of Los Angeles. Miles is the Vice President and Librarian of one of the most important historical treasures in California, Campo de Cahuenga. It was at this location "manifest destiny" in the United States became a reality.
Knudson and his colleagues have been working tirelessly to renovate and re-open the museum at the site of the ruins of the original Campo.

Long only marginally protected, the original adobe ruins of Campo de Cahuenga were exposed during the construction of the Red Line subway adjacent to the site. A protective material (white) was put over the precious walls. Unfortunately that coating is failing, due to moisture rising from the ground.

In the above photograph, the ruins of the original Campo are examined by Miles Knudsen. While the cracks in the white covering, exposing the original abode, might look for a set on the campus of Universal Studios across Lankershim Boulevard, they actually are alarm bell, signaling the permanent loss of the adobe structure.

Fragments of the original roof tiles of Campo de Cahuenge - Collection of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

On a recent walking tour of downtown Santa Monica, our very informed guide Winston Chappell pointed out that the sand-blasting done to clean up painted surfaces of old brick buildings may be responsible for the brick literally melting away. He commented that in the process of firing brick a protective coating emerges at the surface. Exposed to sunlight, the surface hardens even more. Sand blasting exposes the bricks' interior and erosion follows.
Campo's abobe bricks are now facing a similar fate. With their protective coating gone, they face a destiny of simply vanishing.

Interested in helping to preserve Campo de Cahunega for today's and future generations? Visit Campo's website at
Or, leave a message for Miles Knudsen at 1 (818) 763-7651

The San Fernando Valley, in the heart of the Creative Capital of the World, deserves a great Museum of history and culture.

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