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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

FILM STARS RETREATS IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY



BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

       Now, in mostly gated communities, film and television stars still make their homes across the San Fernando Valley. In a world of intrusive paparazzi, few well known performers live within easy public access. Before the freeways gave visitors easy access to Valley locations, things were quite different. One could drive through Toluca Lake and see Bing Crosby playing with his dog on the front lawn, Jimmy Cagney might be seen overlooking his Granada Hills horse ranch or Carol Lombard and Clark Gable waiting for their driver in Encino. 


      Carol Lombard and Clark Gable at their Encino home.

        In just a few days, The Museum of the San Fernando Valley will be setting up our Library of San Fernando Valley Entertainment Industry History at our exciting new Northridge location. It will feature books, magazines, playbills and much more about our film and television studios and the thousands of artists who make their living in them.
Bing Crosby in the back yard of his Toluca Lake home.

     Think about the number of artists it takes to create a motion picture, animation or television production? The Museum of the San Fernando Valley believes their stories deserve to be preserved as essential elements in our heritage. 
      Editors, story board artists, casting directors, actors, costume designers, model makers, writers, set makers............. your Museum celebrates their genius, histories and inspiration.


Support Your Museum Today:                                             Volunteer For Your Museum Today:

The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 
Plaza De La Cordillera
18860 Nordhoff Street 
2nd Floor 
Northridge, CA 91324


Jimmy Cagney overlooking his Granada Hills horse ranch.

 Movie being made at Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth.

HISTORIC ALEX THEATER IN GLENDALE

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY


THE ALEX THEATER – GLENDALE, CALIFORNIA
by Monica Corpuz – Graduate Student CSUN

      The historic Alex Theater in Glendale opened its doors in September 4, 1925, as Alexander Theater. The theater was a glamorous place to see movies in the late 1920’s all the way through to the early 90s. It drew major movie stars through its doors, such as Bing Cosby and Elizabeth Taylor.
      In the early 90’s, however, the theater had to close it doors, at which point the Glendale Redevelopment Agency purchased the theater and instigated an expensive and ambitious revitalization project. The theater then opened its doors, just a few short years later, as a performing arts center and has since become a hub of activity in Glendale. 

     
       The Alex Theater hosts plays and musical performances as well as lectures, dance performances and comedy shows. It has been added to the National Register of Historic Places and continues to be a unifying landmark for the denizens of Glendale to congregate.
      There are tons of current shows going on this month and next, including DeFranco Does LA, Glendale Pops Hidden Treasures and The Glendale Youth Orchestra. For more information about its history, on-going shows and for photos of movie stars and the theater in its hey-day, please go to this website: http://www.alextheatre.org





GLENDALE'S BRAND AVENUE


                       

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

BRAND AVENUE – GLENDALE, CALIFORNIA
by Monica Corpuz - Graduate Student CSUN

        Glendale’s Brand Boulevard is a main hub of activity today, with a wide selection of shops, restaurants, businesses and cultural landmarks. The street is named after Leslie Coombs Brand (1859-1925), who helped to develop Glendale by helping to build and facilitate transportation and real estate in the city. 


         Glendale officially became a town in 1887 when it comprised only about 150 acres worth of land. In the early 1900’s Edgar D. Goode and D.W. Hunt also helped to develop Glendale by bringing the railroad through the city. Both of these men also have streets named after them, and they’re all by Brand Boulevard. Finally, Glendale became a city in 1906, and due partly to the glamorous and popular Alex Theater, which is located on the street, Brand Boulevard quickly became an important part of the city.
      It wasn’t until a surge of immigrants in the 80’s and 90’s that really diversified Brand Boulevard. Different types of cuisine and shops popped up which only increased the street’s popularity. Today it is a central hub of Glendale. It is located close to the Glendale Galleria, the Americana, art galleries and large corporate headquarters. Shopping, dining, looking at art and then catching a show at the Alex- what a great way to spend a day in Glendale!





Monday, April 28, 2014

HISTORY, ART & ARCHITECTURE TOUR at CSUN 5/3/14 (Members Only)


NEWLY DECLARED SAINT JOHN PAUL II VISITED THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

 Karol Jozef Wojyla, known to the world of Pope John Paul II was canonized a saint in the Roman Catholic Church on April 27th, 2014.  He served longer than any other pope save Adrian VI who died in 1523. During his long reign, John Paul II traveled more than any Catholic leader in history, including visits to Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. 

 Saint John Paul II greets Valley businessman Burt Boeckmann

During his visit to California, the pope met many of our area's leaders, including Bert Boeckmann owner of the Galpin motor complex in Sepulveda. John Paul II used the Mission San Fernando Rey as a place of retreat while in the city.



Saturday, April 26, 2014

KRISTINE KELLER PRODUCES A "BIG READ" SUCCESS

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

When Kristine Keller took on the direction of the "Big Read" project for The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, she learned early-on the many adventures involved in an event staffed by all volunteer workers. (The Big Read is the national literacy project of the National Endowment for the Arts conducted in our community by the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department.) 
The culmination of Kristine's work came with the Song of India event held this month at Rancho Cordillera de la Norte in Northridge. Kristine was delighted with the support she found in the members of the Indian community in the San Fernando Valley, who gave her some pretty special mementos of the occasion.
 Votive lamp featuring Hindu Gods

Lakshmi Hindu Goddess of spiritual and material wealth.

Ganesha Hindu God Defeater of Obsticles

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

McKINLEY HOME FOR BOYS - ONCE IN SHERMAN OAKS

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY


 McKINLEY HOME FOR BOYS

"An Investment With Assured Dividends" Story of McKinley Home"  Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Neil Ally 2014  (click on images to enlarge them.)

 Administrative Building - McKinley Home for Boys - Structure was standing in 1956


In 1900, a retired minister Uriah Gregory and his wife Alice founded what was to become the McKinley Home for Boys in Artesia, California. In 1922, the Kiwanis Club of Los Angeles spearheaded a campaign resulting in the purchase of a 157 acre ranch in what is now Sherman Oaks.
Boys who lived at the McKinley Home were normal kids who had lost their parents or whose families could not care for them.
The Boys Home property at the corner of Riverside Drive and Woodman Avenue (Southwest of present day Notre Dame High School), remained until the late 1950s.

Support Your Museum Today:
The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 
Plaza De La Cordillera
18860 Nordhoff Street 
2nd Floor 
Northridge, CA 91324

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

DOMESTIC CATS ARRIVED IN THE VALLEY WITH SPANISH COLONISTS

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

Europeans brought many things to the New World,  among which were domestic animals that we know today. Spanish priests, soldiers and colonists were the first to introduce cattle, horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, house cats and many varieties of dogs and chickens to the San Fernando Valley. Though their church was very worried about "familiarity" with animals, the followers of Saint Francis Assisi (Franciscan monks) held animals in a higher status than their Catholic counterparts. 

< Most theologians in the 1700s taught that animals did not have souls. That made it ok to eat them.
 They taught about "the sin of familiarity" of seeing human traits in animals. This indicated that a devil might have possessed the creature - who else would someone be talking to?>


Once Spanish settlements in California were established, domestic cats were brought ashore from visiting ships. Cats were important for rat control on boats, and proved useful for killing rodents on land as well. Unfortunately the introduction of cats resulted in the extermination of native bird species. Feral cats have all but eliminated the bird population in the beautiful urban forest at Los Angles Valley College. When you visit our Valley Mission San Fernando Rey de España look for the little "cat doors" that gave feline residents the run of the house.

GLYCERINE "WATER" FALLS AT THE TOPANGA MALL

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

Around 1967, the Topanga Mall installed a really interesting glycerine waterfall. Beads of glycerine, about the size of water drops, moved as if in slow motion down wires of mono-filament fishing lines. The effect was dramatic. No doubt the glycerine drops attracted dust resulting in real clogging problems. But, while the fountains last, they were exceptional. 

Glycerine falls at the Topanga Mall c. 1967- Postcards gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2014.  (click on images to enlarge them.)


Monday, April 21, 2014

1915 METHODIST RELIGIOUS CARDS

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

On April 4th, 1903, Minnie Buckingham, was given a copy of Harper's Second Reader. Eight year old, Minnie lived in Oakley, Illinois. Tucked in the book were two religious cards, published quarterly at 10 cents per year, or 2 1/2 cents a quarter. The cards, produced by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South in Nashville, Tennessee in April and October 1914, were designed to teach New Testament stories to children. In 1914, the Protestant Methodist church still used the title of Methodist "Episcopal". The use of "South"in the church's title reflects the split between northern and southern congregations at the onset of the American Civil War. How these trading cards found their way into the 1903 reader of Minnie Buckingham is not known.


Religious teaching cards - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2014.

CARL SCHAEFER DENTZEL GAVE NORTHRIDGE ITS NAME

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY



CARL SCHAEFER DENTZEL
1913 - 1980
Memorial booklet "Carl S. Dentzel - A perpetual Spirit of the American Southwest"  Published by the Southwest Museum 1980. Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Paul Alexander Dentzel 2014.  (click on images to enlarge them.)

Carl S. Dentzel preserved much of American's Native American heritage at the Southwest Museum.

Carl Dentzel was born in 1913. His childhood was spent in Beverly Hills, where his father was mayor.  As a youth he traveled extensively in Europe and parts of Asia. His interest in the people he encountered led to a career in journalism, the study of history and the arts, and international affairs. Just prior to World War II, he worked a news correspondent. In 1940, Dentzel moved to an area of the San Fernando Valley between the Utopian religious settlement of Zelzah and North Los Angles.He coined the name Northridge for his community.
Very quickly, Carl Dentzel became a leader in the cultural affairs of the Valley and Los Angeles.
During the Second World War, Carl Dentzel worked tirelessly to cement relations between the United States, Mexico and Central and South America. He served as Executive Secretary for the Southern California Council for Inter American Affairs.
Carl Dentzel was the Director of the Southwest Museum for 25 years. His work to conserve the cultural heritage of Los Angeles resulted in the preservation of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles, and the creation of the city's Cultural Heritage Board. 

 Carl S. Dentzel and his beloved wife Elizabeth Waldo on their Northridge rancho.

Musician and composer, Elizabeth Waldo. Ms. Waldo performs and creates New World music and continues the Dentzel family tradition of intercultural music in Northridge.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

AN INSIGHT INTO ARMENIAN-AMERICANS IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

The following is an interview with Madlen Avetyan by her fellow CSUN student Monica Corpuz:

"Madlen Avetyan is a Masters student in the anthropology department at California University, Northridge. Madlen is doing an oral histories project for The Museum of the San Fernando Valleywhere she’s interviewing Armenians who live in the San Fernando Valley to understand their perspective on their cultural identity and how they build that identity and interact in the diverse cultural environment of Los Angeles. Madlen is in a particularly good position for this research since she is Armenian herself and was part of the diaspora of Armenians into the San Fernando Valley (she’s lived here for 22 years!).

 Madlen Avetyan - Graduate Student California State University Northridge

Glendale has one of the biggest, if not the biggest, population of Armenians in the United States. Madlen says that language and music are cultural tools used by Armenians in the San Fernando Valley to stay engaged and connected to one another. She says, “Families are the central focus of it all”, especially because of the diaspora. Christianity is also a large part of the culture for many Armenians and, because of this, churches are important congregating places. She has specific memories of the Glendale Central Church,  (one of the oldest Armenian churches in Glendale) during special events, like Easter Sunday, the church is so full that people have to wait outside for hours before they can even go in! This was a blessing in disguise since it provided an opportunity to see friends and to meet extended family that under different circumstances, they would not have met. These religious and social events provide a sense of community and involvement for Armenians of the diaspora in the San Fernando Valley.
Madlen says that Armenian culture in Glendale is so visible and palpable that after she moved from the city, she used to make special trips to drive through every once in a while just to feel that instant connection with the community. Many of the restaurants, shops and small independent stores are brimming with Armenian culture.
During her research, Madlen found that one way in which Armenians built and changed their culture after the diaspora to the San Fernando Valley, was for older men to gather at Maple Park to play backgammon and spend time with one another. She says that traditionally in Armenia, elderly parents would go to live with their eldest son, but that practice is not common in the United States. Instead, these men go to the park to catch up on familial happenings and to re-create their place in the community.
Madlen’s work on the oral histories of the Armenians of the San Fernando Valley is a beautiful way of recognizing and learning about the different cultures, and their different perspectives, of the greater Los Angeles area. Madlen says, “Being part of the Armenian Diaspora in the San Fernando Valley is all about connecting with family through Armenian food, language and the community”.
For more information on what it is to be Armenian, please check out this website: Armeniapedia.org.

Monday, April 14, 2014

MONTAGE OF VALLEY HISTORY ON MENU COVER

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

When Tony Evans opened the "Talk of the Valley" restaurant on 6842 Van Nuys Boulevard in Van Nuys, he created a stunning cover for his 1965 menu. Few images have been exemplified the culture and history of our Valley than this image. 

 (Left)  Mexican era vaquero encounters a yellow breasted meadow lark, violinist and talk show host, football star, actors in an epic movie, and a jazz bassoonist. (click on this image to enlarge it.)

EARLY 1911 PHOTOS OF VAN NUYS PRINTED IN 1960

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

Recently, Gary Fredburg (bless his heart) donated a "Winter 1960 Pionee"r booklet pritned by Valley Federal Savings.  It contains some great photographs of the founding and early photos of Van Nuys. Ihope you enjoy them. 
 The first street car arrives in Van Nuys. It was cause for a large barbecue celebration. 
(click on the images to enlarge them)

December 16, 1911 - First street car arrives in Van Nuys from Los Angeles

Building materials arrive for the building of Van Nuys in 1911

First newspaper and printing shop in Van Nuys 1911


 Van Nuys Boulevard (then Sherman Way 1911) looking north. Note the rose bushes and palms.

D.W. Whitsett sold houses and lots from his Tract Office in Van Nuys. It was on Van Nuys Boulevard and Sylvan Street.
Railway carriage used to bring prospective buyers to Van Nuys in 1911

Sunday, April 13, 2014

MUSEUM PREPARES FOR MOVE INTO NORTHRIDGE SPACE

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

On the first of May, The Museum of the San Fernando Valley will move into an exciting new exhibition, meeting and work space. To give the members of his Board of Directors a preview of the facility, Scott Sterling president of The Museum set up work tables, hors d' ouvres, covered the tables with table cloths. 
The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 
Plaza De La Cordillera
18860 Nordhoff Street 
2nd Floor 
Northridge, CA 91324 
 
(until May 1st - mailing address)
21031 Ventura Blvd., Suite 419  (mailing address)
Woodland Hills, CA 91364-2230

 Side entrance elevator

 Gary Fredburg arrives for his first meeting at the new Museum space  - side entrance stairs

 Work and Associates space

 Main internal hallway


 Kristine Keller, Board member and Chair of The Museum's "Big Read" project, 
prepares for the first meeting of The Museum in its new spcace.

 Work tables are set up in the main room.


 Left: Jerry Fecht, Willard Simms, Lee Davis, (guest Dick Ashnault of High Tech Signs and Banners_ Mel Mitchell and Roger Dolin.


Scott Sterling shows Lee Davis the main office area.

Mel Mitchell, Treasurer of The Museum, envisions how the patio will look and be used.

Office library with patio access.





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