San Fernando Valley is rife with ghosts of the non-chain-rattling, non-special-effects sort. (Although, given the number of soundstages in the area, there are a couple of wraiths of the chain-rattling, CG-y sort, on occasion.)
And we are glad to have these ghosts. Because while the sunshiny stretch has changed a lot over the last century, one can still see remnants of its citrus-sweet past, its first ranches, its nascent movie studios, and even its earliest subdivisions. The concept of suburbia certainly wasn't invented yesterday.
But, of course, the search for those things is made so much easier when several amazing photographs are compiled in one book. "San Fernando Valley," from Arcadia Publishing, debuts on Monday, June 27, and like other offerings from the company it is plump with vintage snapshots and interesting tidbits of a time gone by.
Is your favorite nook given the love? Toluca Lake, Tujunga, and Tarzana are represented. So are specific buildings, like Columbia Ranch and Victory Drive-In Theatre. And hoo, if Universal Studios wasn't on the eensy side once upon a time. Same for Warner Bros. and Disney. When we see our mega studios today it can be hard to remember that they started as a small clutch of buildings.
"San Fernando Valley" by Marc Wanamaker is $21.99. Find more information at Arcadia Publishing.