Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California

Van Nuys is a district in the San Fernando Valley region of the City of Los Angeles, California, United States. The TV show Beverly Hills 90210 was filmed on a set in Van Nuys.


Van Nuys is located at (34.1833, -118.4333).


Lot sales began at the new town of Van Nuys on February 22, 1911. The area is named after Isaac Van Nuys, who founded the San Fernando Homestead Association in 1869, a group which purchased much of the land that now makes up the community. He also built the first wood frame house in the San Fernando Valley in 1872.

Van Nuys is in the heart of the San Fernando Valley and home to about 100,000 people; the main thoroughfare, Van Nuys Boulevard, is noted for its car dealerships. It also functions similar to a "county seat" for the Valley, with its Government Center (Erwin Street Mall) containing a branch of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Van Nuys police station, the Van Nuys offices for Los Angeles City Hall, Van Nuys State Office Building and a branch of the Los Angeles Public Library.

Van Nuys used to be the home for a major manufacturing plant for Chevrolet. When the plant was dismantled in 1998, the site was converted into a shopping mall called The Plant.

Like many central San Fernando Valley neighborhoods, Van Nuys was a middle-class neighborhood as late as the 1970s, but the demographics of the area have changed considerably since then. Income levels have significantly declined (with inflation taken into account) and the neighborhood has taken on characteristics of South Los Angeles like the majority of the eastern San Fernando Valley. It is now a largely Latino neighborhood. There are, however, large notable pockets of Armenian Americans, Ugandan Americans, Rwandan Americans, Filipino Americans, African Americans, and Thai Americans as well.

In late 2004, the San Fernando Valley's first historic district was proposed for an area of early 20th Century bungalows north of Victory between Van Nuys Boulevard and Kester. According to the November 23, 2004, Los Angeles Times, "The neighborhood has become a melting pot of ethnic groups and home styles. Nearby stand such historic buildings as Van Nuys High School (1914), St. Elisabeth Catholic Church (1920) and the 12th Church of Christ Scientist (1932)."

Notable locations

Emergency services

Fire service

Los Angeles Fire Department operates Station 39 (Van Nuys), Station 90 (Van Nuys Airport Area), Station 100 (West Van Nuys/Lake Balboa), and Station 102 (South Van Nuys/Valley Glen), serving the community.

Police service

The Los Angeles Police Department operates the nearby Van Nuys Community Police Station at 6420 Sylmar Avenue, 91401, serving the neighborhood


Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Van Nuys is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

LAUSD-operated schools within the Van Nuys community area include:

Adult schools:

  • Van Nuys Community Adult School (on the same campus as Van Nuys High School)

6-12 schools:

K-12 school:

  • Valley Alternative Magnet School

High schools:

Middle schools:

  • Van Nuys Middle School

Elementary schools:

In addition Charter High School for the Arts is located in Van Nuys.

Private schools

Public libraries

The Van Nuys Branch Library of the Los Angeles Public Library serves the community.


Van Nuys Airport, the third busiest general aviation airport in the world, the 25th busiest airport in the United States, and among the 20 busiest airports in the world by aircraft movements, is located in Van Nuys.

The closest airport with commercial airline service


See timeline

  • 1872 — Eugene Garnier buys Rancho Encino and erects house of limestone beside de Osa adobe. Isaac Van Nuys builds first wood-frame house in Valley.
  • 1911 — Van Nuys was settled by the Los Angeles Suburban Home Company. HJ Whitleythe Father Of Hollywood was the General Manager of the Syndicate. Pacific Electric Red Cars reach Valley from Los Angeles. Burbank and San Fernando officially incorporate.
  • 1914 — Universal City opens as a studio-cum-town. Floods inundate Van Nuys and cut off Valley from Los Angeles.
  • 1928 — St. Francis Dam break kills more than 400 people and ends career of William Mulholland. Metropolitan Field, the future Van Nuys Airport, opens. Stop signs posted at major intersections.
  • 1932 —Van Nuys city hall built.
  • 1942 — President Franklin Roosevelt orders all West Coast residents of Japanese heritage — including 3,100 in Valley, many of them Americans — relocated to inland camps. National Guard squadron at Griffith Park moves to new Van Nuys Army Airfield.
  • 1943 — Birmingham Army Hospital built for paraplegic wounded at Balboa Blvd. and Vanowen St. in Van Nuys
  • 1949 — Standard Airlines crash in Santa Susana Pass kills 35 people. Bethlehem Star Parade tradition begins in Van Nuys. Valley College opens.
  • 1953- Birmingham Army Hospital becomes Birmingham Jr. & Sr. High School, the third Jr. & Sr. High School in Van Nuys.
  • 1960 — Ventura Freeway completed across the Valley. National Guard jets leave Van Nuys Airport over noise complaints. Population of Valley hits 840,000.
  • 1965 — Passenger helicopter service begins between Van Nuys and Los Angeles International Airport. Journalist Tom Wolfe writes of Valley car culture in The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby.
  • 1966 — Busch Gardens amusement park opens in Van Nuys.
  • 1970 —Women join assembly line at Van Nuys GM plant. Bethlehem Star Parade ends due to waning interest.
  • 1992 —General Motors plant in Van Nuys closes.

Notable Residents


External links

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