Tel: (818) 347-9665 PST

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year’s Wishes - Donate today

Hello and Happy New Year to all Museum members, donors, board members, advisors, Museum Associates and visitors.

Let’s make it a wonderful 2020!

Please consider making your TMSFV member and donor pledge today.

You can also visit: www.The to Donate or to become a Member.

Thank you.

The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

Sunday, December 1, 2019

12-3-19 Giving Tuesday - please consider donating to YOUR Museum this year

As we approach all holidays, the non-profit world asks its members, donors, visitors and members of the general public to donate to worthy causes.

In a major city like Los Angeles, there are many choices to donate to worthwhile causes.
This Tuesday, December 3rd is Giving Tuesday which highlights non-profits and giving. If you can donate or join on this day, great! If not, please consider doing so by the end of the year. 

If you have not donated or become a member to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, ever, or recently, we are asking you to do so this year.

Unlike other organizations, 100% of proceeds go towards supporting programs, exhibits and events.

You can click HERE to donate via PayPal.

Our Giving Fuel Campaign - click HERE to donate.

On behalf of our entire board of directors and advisors, we appreciate the consideration for a donation or membership this year.


Michel (Michael) Stevens

12-14-19 Nike Missile Control Site tour - Cold War Era site -

For those that did not have a chance to make it to our June tour, we are offering the Nike Missile Control Site tour again on Saturday, December 14, 2019, from 9:30 am - 11:00 am.

In June, the ranger did not have the gate open. The Museum has contacted the City of LA and we have been told as long as it is not raining, the gate will be open. If it is raining, the event will be canceled.

LA-96C was one of 16 Nike Missile Control Sites operated by the Army from the 1950s to the 1970s. These batteries circled the Los Angeles basin in what was called a “Ring of Supersonic Steel." The headquarters for the program was located in San Pedro’s Fort MacArthur. Few Angelenos were aware that many, many of nuclear missiles at military bases near their homes, their schools, and their parks, ready to be fired.

Franky Ortega, teacher, specialist on valley history related to the military and The Museum SFV board member, returns to present the history of this site and lead discussion with attendees.

What's with the name Nike? Well, the Army named their first anti-aircraft surface to air missile program after the Greek goddess of Victory, Nike.

Location: San Vicente Mountain Park
17500 Mulholland Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90049

Map and Directions
San Fernando Valley: Ventura Fwy (101) to Balboa Blvd exit. South (right) on Balboa Blvd. for 0.75 mile. East (left) on Ventura Blvd for 0.5 mile and turn south (right) on Hayvenhurst Ave. for 1.5 miles then west (right) on Encino Hills Dr. Veer left on Mulholland Dr. Park is at the end of the road.

(With the park, it is in Brentwood - from the valley, folks call it in Encino - FYI)
Meet at 9:20 Presentation at 9:30 am plus Q&A - The presentation will last one hour to 90 minutes with discussion and Q&A.

Please wear proper shoes, clothing and bring some water.

(With the park, it is in Brentwood - from the valley, folks call it in Encino - FYI)
Cost: $10/pp; PLEASE RSVP and pay in advance via EventBrite

RSVP on Facebook.

Walk-up attendees are welcome. Canines are free to listen in too...
We would appreciate advance notice for this special event by calling 818-347-9665 or and let us you will be attending.

Soldier stands guard over poised Nike guided missile. Four Nike bases form main line of defense for critical Valley area. September 8, 1960 (Courtesy: Los Angeles Public Library)
Posted by:

Michel (Michael) Stevens
The Museum SFV

12-7-19 Unmasking the San Fernando Valley art exhibit -reception-fundraiser - please join us FREE

On Saturday, December 7, 2019 from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, The Museum of the San Fernando Valley will hold a Meet and Greet reception for participating SFV Artists and Museum supporters of its upcoming exhibit "Unmasking the San Fernando Valley."

This exhibit will offer one-of-a-kind collection of hand-made decorative masks, all created by some of SFV's most well-known and established artists. Each mask is connected to a SFV event and is designed to excite and engage the SFV history buff. Each mask is available for purchase, with a significant portion of the sales proceeds to be donated to The Museum.

The participating valley-based artists this year include: Earl Beard, Barbara Katz Bierman, Chloe Combow, Richard Cryer, Sarah Hage, Phyllis Hansen, Judy Heimlich, Michaela Hughes, Morgan Kari, Andrea Monroe, Akram Ighani Namdarian, Bronwyn Rubin, Ellen Rundle, Ingrid Elburg Shapiro, Jenn Sher, Charles Sherman, Debbie Wubben and Virginia Viera.

The event is free and RSVP is required. Refreshments will be available.

To RSVP, please email either or go to The Museum's Eventbrite page through this link.

The Museum is located in Northridge

18860 Nordhoff Street, Suite 204, 
Northridge 91324
SE corner of Nordhoff Street and Wilbur Avenue.  

The Museum's phone number is (818) 347-9665.  Free parking is available behind The Museum building.

The exhibition of "Unmasking the San Fernando Valley" will run from Tuesday, December 3, 2019 through Thursday, January 16, 2020.

Congrats to Canoga Park High School as Football Champions

Here is to valley local champions, Canoga Park High School Hunters - ending a 38-year football drought by beating Franklin High School 28-20 on Saturday evening at El Camino College.

The Hunters opened up four-touchdown lead that held until halftime. 

Franklin came roaring back with three-touchdowns in the third quarter to make the game more exciting as both teams reached for the crown in the Division II City championship.

Canoga Park L.A. City Section Division II final against Franklin High School at El Camino College (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer- Daily News)

TODAY 12-1-19 Historic Walking Tour of North Hollywood 2:00 - 3:00 pm; please join us rain or shine

Hello to all historic walking tour fans of North Hollywood (NoHo).  RSVP HERE

Learn about real cowboys, pioneer families, movie television and recording stars, the Spanish conquest, Mexican ranchos, land purchases and sales of acreage, vast ranches and orchards, fruit, freight trains, wars, architecture, and much more! Tour highlights include:

  •         Amelia Earhart Statue          
  •         The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS) -see amazing statues at   TV  Hall of Fame Plaza; take photos next to some   of your favorite movie stars, directors, producers and characters!
  •         Amelia Earhart Library (1928)  
  •         El Portal Theatre (1926)
  •         Tiny's Patio (1923)
  •         St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church  
  •         NoHo Arts District
  •         NoHo Fire Station #60          
  •         Lankershim Arts Center (1939) (S. Charles Lee, architect) -
  •         So. Pacific Railroad Depot (1896)  
  •         Weddington Family History      
  •         North Hollywood Masonic Temple Lodge 542
  •         Phil’s Diner              
  •         Lankershim Elementary School (Marilyn Monroe attended)

1) Purchase tickets in advance on EVENTBRITE (we appreciate this)

2) Walk-up okay, but please contact us at 1-818-347-9665 or email at to let us know you are attending and how many folks in your party.

When:  December 1, 2019

Time:    2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Cost:        $10 per person      

Parking:    FREE street parking in area around park, library and church.

Tour meets promptly at 1:50 pm -

5211 Tujunga St.
North Hollywood, CA 91601

Meet at Amelia Earhart Statue; NW corner of
Tujunga St. & Magnolia Blvd. (on corner of North Hollywood Regional Library)


Please visit us on the web at

Visit The Museum’s blog too at

Tell a friend.  Bring a friend.

Thank you,

Michel (Michael) Stevens

Bill Carpenter
Director of Historic Walking Tours

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Museum Speaker Series- Chris Lukather Cinderella book - a big hit

A big thank you to Chris Lukather regarding The Museum SFV's speaker event on November 2nd. Also, we had a special gues in Jean Vandruff's daughter was on hand and offered copies of 17 different home layouts.

The attendees really enjoyed Chris' personality and presentation.

Please consider purchasing his terrific book:

Cinderella Homes of the 1950s of Jean Vandruff.
Cost: $30 each. Chris will sign each book.

If you purchase through The Museum, a portion of proceeds will benefit our organiziation.

Please come on into The Museum or call us to reserve a book.

Thank you.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

11-9-19 The Museum Speaker Event - Birmingham General Hospital WWII & The San Fernando Valley History

Please join The Museum and veterans from various conflicts, especially WWII this      Saturday, November 9th at The Museum SFV.

Franky Ortega, History teacher, a National Board-Certified Teacher at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, returns as the presenter. He will discuss the history of Birmingham General Hospital, (with updated content), history of veterans in the San Fernando Valley. What was the valley like during WWII? Please attend and learn more about this interesting part of valley history. He will also tie in the current, amazing group of veterans that comprise Wings Over Wendy's.

Special Guests to appear!

Time: 2:00 - 4:00 pm

FREE for Veterans and active military - FREE RSVP HERE

Guests: $10/pp;  Guest RSVP HERE

PLEASE RSVP and pay in advance via EventBrite.
Walk-in attendees welcome. 
We would appreciate advance notice for this special event, please call 818-347-9665 or and let us know how many will be attending.

FREE Parking in The Museum SFV parking lot.  Enter on northeast corner of the building.

Elevator access to 2nd floor.     Raffle Prizes too!

Directions to The Museum SFV:
18860 Nordhoff St., Suite 204

Northridge, CA 91324-3885

SE corner of Wilbur Ave. and Nordhoff St.
½ mile from CSUN (west) and 1/3 mile from the Northridge Fashion Mall (east)
Easy access from 118 Fwy.-Tampa exit; 101 Fwy.-Reseda exit; 405 Fwy.-Nordhoff exit   
Tel: 818-347-9665 
The Museum’s blog:

Friday, October 18, 2019

Magical Cinderella Ranch Homes of 1950s - Chris Lukather’s new book - The Museum SFV Speaker Series

Chris Lukather’s New Book Examines Life and Work of Jean Vandruff, the Designer and Builder of the Magical Cinderella Ranch Homes of 1950s

When: 11/2/19 

Time: 2:00-4:00 pm

Cost: $10/pp

The Museum SFV members - Free

Location: Rancho Cordillera del Norte located at 9015 Wilbur Ave.  (This is directly across the street of The Museum SFV).

Before Disneyland opened in Southern California, Jean Vandruff Created Iconic Fairytale Homes

Chris Lukather, founder and editor of the literary journal, The Writing Disorder, has released his latest book, The Cinderella Homes of Jean Vandruff – Fairy Tale Tracts in the Suburbs. 

In the 1950s, Southern California tract housing developments filled the need of a burgeoning population, but they often lacked innovation, imagination and quality. The ubiquitous, plain box-style home tracts featuring little ornamentation came to define the term “cookie cutter.” It’s no wonder that designer and builder Jean Vandruff’s charming homes skyrocketed to popularity, since they exemplified a visionary translation of storybook magic into appealing new homes most buyers could afford. Eventually, over 6,000 Cinderella Homes were built throughout Southern California and the United States. 

Mr. Vandruff began building houses in Southern California in the early 1950s, after serving as a decorated pilot in WWII. He enrolled in the USC School of Architecture, but eventually left the program to build custom homes with his brother, Shannon. His first Cinderella Home was a custom home built in Downey, CA, in 1953, creating a prototype for his wildly popular model home that was featured at the 1956 Los Angeles Home Show. The success and interest this model generated initiated his venture into tract home building and a subsequent franchise deal that facilitated his Cinderella Homes being built around the country. The style became an iconic mid-century design.

Today at 97 years old, Jean Vandruff still lives near Anaheim, CA. He is proud of the legacy of his work as a designer and builder and remains active in the community that still today celebrates his Cinderella homes. The book contains information that Chris Lukather compiled from interviews with Vandruff and family members, and from several fields trips to original Cinderella tracts in Anaheim, Tustin, Placentia, and the San Fernando Valley that Chris took with Mr. Vandruff. 

Please join us at the historic and beautiful Rancho Cordillera del Norte located at 9015 Wilbur Ave.  (This is directly across the street of The Museum SFV).

Author Chris Lukather will be signing copies of his latest book. The book costs $30 each and a portion of proceeds will benefit The Museum of the SFV.

Free parking - enter on Wilbur Ave.

Please RSVP in advance on FaceBook Events or EVENTBRITE.

Okay to walk up to event, but please call The Museum at 818-347-9665 or email to to RSVP total attendees.

Please bring a family member or friend ... or two.

If you currently live in or have lived in a  Cinderella home, we would be interested interviewing you as well discussing participating in upcoming walking tours of these iconic neighborhoods.

For more information, please contact Michel (Michael) Stevens at 818-347-9665 or

Thank you.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Join us - Granada Hills Street Faire on Saturday, October 5, 2019

Please come on out to the Granada Hills Street Faire on Saturday, October 5, 2019.

FREE event -10:00 - 5:00 pm

The street will be blocked off on Chatsworth Street from Zelzah Ave. to White Oak Ave.

The Museum SFV will have a booth - come on over and let's chat about the History, Art and Culture of the Valley.

Learn more about The Museum SFV, its exhibits, programs and how to become a member, donor or volunteer.

10-19-19 FREE* Family Fun Day - Ice Cream Social - Speaker - Food Truck - Games



Bring out the family out for a fun day at The Museum SFV.

When:   Saturday, October 19, 2019

Time:   11:00 am – 3:00 pm 

Cost:  FREE Event*

Parking: Free Parking (some in parking lot; other free non-metered street parking)

18860 Nordhoff St. – Northridge, CA 91324 

(Cross Street SE Corner of Wilbur Ave. & Nordhoff St.)
Parking in lot and street parking (non-metered);

The Museum is on Nordhoff half way between CSUN and Northridge Fashion Center.

Please provide FREE RSVP on EVENTBRITE, email us at or contact us 818-347-9665 to let us know how many people are coming.

Bring the family out for FREE Ice Cream from famous Handel’s Ice Cream** ( **FREE Ice Cream, first 200 people (maybe more!)

Arts & Crafts; Games for kids!

The famous The Grilled Cheese Food Truck (*charges for food); order and enjoy your favorite items from this very popular food truck first then you can have a scoop of ice cream. The food truck will be on site from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm.

Special Presentation
"First People of the San Fernando Valley"
Rudy Ortega, Jr.
Tribal President
Fernandeñio Tataviam Band of Mission Indians

 (Noon - 1:30 pm; outside or inside The Museum based on weather)

Small Car Show

Grey Save Greyhound Adopt-A-Pet - come out and visit with some Greyhound dogs and...maybe take one home with you!

California E-Waste will be on hand to collect all of your unwanted electronic equipment

Please your unwanted electronic waste to The Museum SFV event. 
Cal E-Waste accepts the following:
1. Televisions
2. Plasma TVs
3. Flat Screens
4. Computers
5. Laptops
6. Cell Phones
7. Printers
8. LCD Screens
9. Servers
10. All computer related electronic.

Cal E-Waste DOES NOT accept the following:
1. Batteries
2. Light Bulbs
3. Oils/Paints
4. Kitchen Electronics

10-27-19 Historic Walking Tour of Van Nuys - 2:00 pm-3:30 pm

Historic walking tour of Van Nuys
2:00- 3:30 pm
RSVP in advance (appreciated) on EVENTBRITE.
Okay to pay on site

Learn about the origin of the Daily News and the company which was a nationwide maker of silent movie theatre organs. Who were Hobart Johnstone Whitley, Wayne E. Bechtelheimer and Whitley Van Nuys Huffaker? Relive "Wednesday Nights on Van Nuys Boulevard." We will have historic photographs and stories to share as we wander this surprisingly historic San Fernando Valley treasure. Tour highlights include:

•    Van Nuys Bungalow         
•    Women’s Club
•    Old Van Nuys Library (1927)     
•    United Methodist Church
•    Municipal Building Façade     
•    Van Nuys Post Office
•    Van Nuys Fire Station
•    Abeles Map             
•    Fernando Statue, Crystal Plunge
•    Bob’s Big Boy, Busch Gardens     
•    Lankershim, Van Nuys, Whitsett, Whitley

The development entity known as The Syndicate began the process in 1910, but William Paul Whitsett saw it through to the end. Originally a barley field, Van Nuys became a prosperous center of City Government, agriculture and industry. Come explore what remains to be appreciated: original 1911 buildings hidden beneath modern facades, first churches, a civic center with many special revelations, one of the main hubs of social and official activity, the Women's Club building, Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monuments #201, #202, and #911, and National Register of Historic Places Monument #2509.

Please RSVP and pay in advance with:                                        
EVENTBRITE - Search under: Van Nuys Historic Walking Tour  (Okay to walk-up and pay)
Cost:        $10 per person donation; Also, please visit
Parking:    Street & metered parking in area

RSVP:     1-818-347-9665, email at

Please consider inviting a family member, colleague or friend.

Attendees will meet at 1:50 pm under the "Bridge/Archway" of the Braude Constituent Center, 6262 Van Nuys