North Hollywood in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
A Force on the Face of the Valley
Chandler Boulevard cuts across the San Fernando Valley, where wheat fields once grew - along with the ambitions of the man for whom the boulevard is named, Harry Chandler.
He was a political powerbroker, a real estate mogul, and a newspaper publisher who used the power of his presses to promote Los Angeles' fortunes, and his own.
As a college student in New Hampshire in 1882, he took a dare that changed his future, and Southern California's: he dived into a vat of starch. The prank damaged his lungs and sent him to Los Angeles to recover.
Here, he worked in the orchards of the San Fernando Valley, and then as a $12 a week circulation clerk at the Los Angeles Times. When he quickly boosted circulation, he caught the eye of the publisher, General Harrison Gray Otis.
Chandler rose steadily in the newspaper. By 1894 he had become both Otis' business manager and his son-in-law, marrying Otis' daughter, Marian.
Chandler was determined to found a dynasty. He promised his children $100 for each grandchild, according to Emmy-winning filmmaker
A Newspaper Shapes a Region
He used the paper to advance his projects and his politics. He devoted rivers of ink to praising Republican politicians and slighting Democratic and pro-labor ones.
He was a civic booster who promoted movies, aviation, and the creation of the Coliseum, the Hollywood sign (originally a huge ad for real estate), the Biltmore and Ambassador Hotels, Douglas Aircraft, and Caltech. Newsweek magazine once described him as the "Midas of California."
Where his flamboyant father-in-law loved attention (Otis had an ornamental cannon on the hood of his car), Chandler preferred anonymity. He expanded his holdings and his family. Eventually, more than a million and a half acres would pass through his hands, much of it in the San Fernando Valley.
Consortium, or Conspiracy?
In 1905, a Chandler consortium quietly purchased 16,000 acres in the northern San Fernando Valley — right before Los Angeles announced it would bring water from the Owens Valley to Los Angeles, through the Valley.
To this day, suspicions endure that the infamous land deal and water grab were as much about enriching Chandler and his cohorts as about bringing water to Los Angeles. These suspicions formed the basis of the
Shady or not, the deals made the Valley boom. The aqueduct opened in 1913, and ultimately changed the Valley from a vast agricultural expanse to a prosperous residential, industrial, and business suburb of Los Angeles.
In 1927, some of the 47,000 acres that Chandler and a syndicate had purchased became North Hollywood. Chandler Boulevard was named for him in 1926, the year before North Hollywood acquired its name. Chandler died in 1944. The Tribune Company in Chicago acquired the Los Angeles Times in 2000, ending 119 years of the family dynasty’s ownership.
Erected by City of Los Angeles.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Labor Unions • Roads & Vehicles.
Location. 34° 10.075′ N, 118° 22.576′ W. Marker is in North Hollywood, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker is at the intersection of Lankershim Boulevard and Chandler Boulevard, on the left when traveling south on Lankershim Boulevard. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5300 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood CA 91601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Weddington Family (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); El Portal Theatre (about 400 feet away); Lankershim Train DepotFire Station No. 60 (approx. 0.2 miles away); North Hollywood Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (approx. ¼ mile away); Amelia Earhart (approx. ¼ mile away); Pierce Brothers Valhalla Dignity Memorial (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in North Hollywood.
Also see . . . Angels Walk L.A. — Self-guided walking tours of historic neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The Harry Chandler marker is part of the North Hollywood walk. (Submitted on December 27, 2020.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 27, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 33 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 27, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.