Lankershim Boulevard: The Beating Heart of the San Fernando Valley

The San Fernando Valley, often referred to simply as "The Valley," is a sprawling, sun-drenched enclave nestled to the northwest of downtown Los Angeles. And at its heart, running like a pulsating vein, is Lankershim Boulevard, a thoroughfare that embodies the Valley's rich tapestry of history, culture, and vibrancy.

A Historical Sketch

Lankershim Boulevard was not always the bustling street we know today. Its roots trace back to the late 19th century when it was named after James Boon Lankershim and Isaac Newton Van Nuys, pioneering developers responsible for much of the Valley's early agriculture and real estate development.

At the turn of the 20th century, the San Fernando Valley was dominated by vast wheat fields and orange groves, and Lankershim was the artery that connected these agricultural wonders to the growing city of Los Angeles.

From Agriculture to Entertainment

With the rise of the entertainment industry, the San Fernando Valley, and Lankershim Boulevard in particular, underwent a dramatic transformation. The 1920s and 1930s saw the establishment of film studios in the vicinity. Universal Pictures, for instance, set up shop just off Lankershim, becoming a significant player in the Hollywood narrative. As the decades rolled on, Lankershim transitioned from its agricultural origins to becoming synonymous with the glitz and glamour of the film and television world.

Arts and Theater

In recent years, Lankershim has also carved out a reputation as an arts hub, particularly around the North Hollywood Arts District. The El Portal Theatre, a historic venue that has witnessed performances for nearly a century, stands as a testament to Lankershim's dedication to the performing arts. Alongside it, myriad art galleries, performance spaces, and indie theaters showcase the area's local talent.

El Portal Theater

The NoHo Gateway Sign

Conclusion: The Ever-Evolving Boulevard

Lankershim Boulevard is more than just a road in the San Fernando Valley. It's a symbol of evolution, resilience, and diversity. From its agrarian beginnings to its place at the epicenter of entertainment and culture, Lankershim captures the essence of The Valley. As you drive, walk, or cycle down this iconic boulevard, take a moment to soak in its history and appreciate the stories it continues to tell.

Lankershim School in San Fernando Valley California, ca.1889

Television Academy courtyard