It is located just north of the North Hills district, west of the Mission Hills and Sylmar districts, and just east of the Northridge and Porter Ranch districts. It is accessible by the Ronald Reagan (SR 118), San Diego (Interstate 405), and Golden State (Interstate 5) Freeways. Major thoroughfares include Balboa Boulevard, Woodley, Hayvenhurst, and Haskell Avenues, as well as Rinaldi Street, San Fernando Mission Boulevard, Chatsworth Street, and Devonshire Street.
In 1916, the San Fernando Valley's first oil well was drilled in what is now Granada Hills. The oil well was located at the northern tip of Zelzah Avenue. Granada Hills was founded in 1927 (as "Granada;" the "Hills" was added 15 years later) and started out as a dairy farm and orchard known as the Sunshine Ranch. Among the crops harvested here as the nation prepared for the Roaring '20s were apricots, oranges, walnuts and beans. Vestiges of former citrus groves can still be seen as small groups of orange, lemon or grapefruit trees in some residential yards. A more detailed history can be found via the Granada Hills Chamber of Commerce
According to the 2000 San Fernando Valley Almanac, Granada Hills has a population of 68,748 and 16,268 households. As of May 2008, the median home price is $435,000 . The population demography is 45.2% Caucasian, 33% Latino, 17.1% Asian, and 4.3% African American. The community spans .
Granada Hills is served by the Los Angeles Unified School District.
K-5 elementary schools in Granada Hills include El Oro Way Elementary School, Van Gogh Street Elementary School, Tulsa Street Elementary School, Danube Elementary School and Knollwood Elementary School
9-12 high schools in Granada Hills include Granada Hills Charter High School (also known as "Granada Hills High School" or simply "Granada"), located at 10535 Zelzah Avenue, and John F. Kennedy High School, located at 11254 Gothic Avenue. Residents of the Granada Hills attendance zone are eligible to instead attend Northridge Academy High School.
6-12 schools include North Valley Charter Acacdemy. Residents of Granada Hills are eligeble to attend. Raffles are held for outside of area.
In 1927, when the California Legislature established the State Park Commission, Henry W. O'Melveny (the namesake for this park), became one of the original commission members along with: Major Frederick R. Burnham, W. F. Chandler, William E. Colby (Secretary), and Dr. Ray Lyman Wilbur.
Mission Point and its environs are popular mountain biking and hiking areas. The view from the top of Mission Point, the highest point in Granada Hills, is striking, taking in most of the San Fernando Valley. In clear weather, one can see the Pacific Ocean and Downtown Los Angeles. The area around the peak is home to quails, bobcats, mule deer, mountain lions and rattlesnakes.
On his visit, the Soviet leader got a show of American consumerism and the American way of life. Khrushchev's visit marked the first time a Soviet leader set foot on U.S. soil. His whirlwind 20-hour Los Angeles journey, part of a six-day, coast-to-coast tour, is better remembered for the Kremlin boss' bumptious antics than for his talks with U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the White House and at Camp David.
Although he declared himself outraged at missing Mickey Mouse and offended when he saw a rousing Hollywood rendition of the can-can, then finally threatened to go home when Los Angeles Mayor Norris Poulson needled him, his visit gave fascinated Granada Hills and L.A. area residents a close look at him.
Shortly after his noon arrival, Khrushchev, already irritated that Disneyland had been placed off-limits, was further annoyed that the main event of the day was a lunch with 300 movie stars and other celebrities and a visit to the set of the movie "Can-Can" at 20th Century Fox, rather than an inspection of an aerospace plant.
After Khrushchev left the studio, gawkers pasted tomatoes on his limo as the doubly offended leader and his 30-car, heavily guarded caravan made its way through city streets. Angelenos, six-deep at the curb, offered not one wave or audible greeting while the open limo lumbered by. Authorities would later report that a bomb was planted in a tree along the route and that a 47-year-old Hawthorne man who said he was "deer hunting" was arrested on suspicion of carrying concealed weapons--a .45-caliber handgun and a bow and arrow--just moments before Khrushchev's motorcade passed on Sepulveda Boulevard.
Heading toward the San Fernando Valley, the premier was escorted by a Jewish Russian emigre whom the mayor had appointed to accompany the Soviet leader while he inspected two types of housing developments on Sophia Drive just south of Rinaldi Street. Ironically, the Ronald Reagan Freeway (State Route 118) was later built within a mile of the housing site and named after the former U.S. President who is credited with ending America's long Cold War with the Soviet Union. Crowds of several hundred gathered to observe the Soviet leader's reaction to an American model home. As it turned out, the earlier visit to 20th Century Fox had cut into Khrushchev's time, and his only inspection of the housing project was a fleeting glance from a motorcade.
Granada Hills is a hot spot of mid-century architecture which returned to vogue in the 1990s, known as mid-century modern. The most notable tract is "Balboa Highlands," a small tract designed by iconic architect Joseph Eichler. Many of these homes, which are North of Rinaldi/West of Balboa, have been featured in movies, commercials, magazine pictorials and often pop up in books both on Eichler and classic examples of mid-century architecture.
While the Eichler homes are the most famous examples of MCM in this North Valley suburb many areas of Granada Hills feature the aesthetic style that includes pitched roofs and beam ceilings including numerous homes surrounding the Knollwood golf course to the east of Balboa, Knollwood Grove to the west of Balboa (behind the Eichler tract) and dotted throughout the areas south of Rinaldi.
White Oak Avenue, between San Fernando Mission and San Jose Street was declared a Historical Landmark on August 3, 1966 for the 101 Deodar Cedar Trees that line the street (which has been dubbed "Christmas Tree Lane"). The trees are native to the Himalayas and valued for their size, beauty and timber.