About Van Nuys
Van Nuys was named after Isaac Newton, founder of the San Fernando Homestead Association in 1869, a group which owned most of the Real Estate that is now Van Nuys. He also built the first wood frame house in the San Fernando Valley in 1872.
Van Nuys is located in the San Fernando Valley which is part of Los Angeles County. Van Nuys is centrally located in the San Fernando Valley ideal for taking advantage of all the area has to offer, Including lots of shopping (The “Plant” which was once the Chevrolet factory is a large sopping centre) and a variety of restaurants along Van Nuys Boulevard.
Van Nuys schools are part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Two community colleges are located in the San Fernando Valley as well as California State University Northridge.
Van Nuys airport hosts the largest air show in Los Angeles County. Parks and recreational venues are plentiful, downtown Los Angeles is an easy drive from Van Nuys as are beaches, mountains and the desert. Van Nuys is also the “county seat” for the Valley with federal, state, county, and city offices located in and around City Hall.
In 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. Many of the surviving prewar homes are valued at more than $500,000. There are many notable historic buildings such as Van Nuys High School (1914), St. Elizabeth Catholic Church (1920) and the 12th Church of Christ Scientist (1932).”
The Van Nuys Airport
In the early 1920’s a small group of men incorporated to build an airport in the rural San Fernando Valley. It opened in 1928 under the name Metropolitan Airport, the airport consisted of 80 acres amid trees and farmland. Hangar fees for a biplane were $35 a month and landing fees were 50 cents.
In 1929, Hollywood discovers the Metropolitan Airport. Howard Hughes, Hoot Gibson, Cecil B. DeMille, Gene Autry and Wallace Beery are among the growing number of stars flying at the new airport.
The airport area continued to expand and grow with three factories, six hangars and a control tower on airport grounds. Two U.S. Army officers, Major Carl Spaatz and Captain Ira Eaker, set an endurance record of 150 hours and 40 minutes before returning to Metropolitan Airport. Bobbi Trout broke the world’s endurance record for women by 4 hours, 3 minutes – remaining in flight for a total time of 12 hours, 11 minutes. The airport also hosted air races. During one such race in 1929, Amelia Earhart set a new speed record.
In 1957, Van Nuys Airport received its current name. The runway was expanded from 6,000 to 8,000 feet as the Sherman Way underpass reached completion.
Growth of industry around the airport continued, with the annual payroll of airport companies reaching $43 million.
Residential growth also continued when the City of Los Angeles Zoning Commission bowed to developers’ requests to build 150 new homes in areas surrounding the airfield. All homes built in this area contained notices in their deeds that “lots lie within the approach zone of major airport and are subject to certain noises.”
Today, in the infancy of the new millennium, VNY remains the busiest general aviation airport in the world and the fifth-busiest airport in the United States.
Things To Do, Places To Go In Van Nuys
Growth in the mid valley area has increased during the past decade starting with the redevelopment of the former Van Nuys General Motors Assembly Plant. The plant that once built Chevrolets now is home to The Plant, a 68-acre retail and industrial complex. The retail portion totals 365,000 square feet and is home to 35 retail stores and restaurants. A 16-screen movie theatre honors the site history with an automotive theme décor. GM continues to operate a car-testing facility on 27-acres next to The Plant.