Random Valley Front Yard of the Day

house%202.JPGHouse #2 in a semi-regular series, this specimen dates from the “early” Valley. The oddly-sized but deep lot, the big old trees, the style of the house and everything all point to maybe the 1930s or 40s, before 50s-era tracts like the Cinderella Homes started getting stamped out like so many identical gingerbread houses.

This one’s being devoured by kudzu, a fate I’d much rather see befall the McMansions up in Porter Ranch.

I like how it also looks very painterly, with the decrepit clapboard, the battered mailbox, the red door to the side yard and the white picket fence from the next yard over, also falling apart.

Click the image to see it a bit better.

Blogged to the tunes of Texas Is The Reason.

11 thoughts on “Random Valley Front Yard of the Day”

  1. That looks more like the ’20s or even the ‘teens than the ’30s or ’40s.

    The look of the house and the mention of the oddly deep lot reminds me of some of the remnants of the old Weeks Poultry Colony up by Canoga Park.

    Can you tell me what street that’s on?

  2. I had originally guessed the 20s, but that seemed quite extreme. There wasn’t much around here in the 20s…for this to be one of the few surviving homes would be quite intriguing. Maybe it warrants a second walkabout. The chimneys in the background show that there are more houses on the original lot…don’t know whether they’re infill or part of the original property.

  3. I had originally guessed the 20s, but that seemed quite extreme. There wasn’t much around here in the 20s…

    Depends on where ‘here’ is. The Red Car line to Van Nuys opened in 1911, and the westward extension to Marion (now Reseda) and Owensmouth (now Canoga Park) was completed in 1913.

    Quite a few real estate developments sprang up along Ventura Blvd in the ’20s as well, as far west as Girard (1923) at Topanga Canyon & Ventura.

    Not all of them were successful, but even the less successful had some “vacation cottages” like this by the mid-to-late ’20s.

  4. The link is interesting and the relics are always an interesting find. Nice reminder of where we have been, even nicer when the owner keeps them nicely maintained so you can get the full flavor of them when new.

  5. Ha! Found it. Built in 1927, says Zillow. LA County Assessor agrees.

    (Zillow can be really useful, but I miss their old Advanced Search, which would let you search by Date Built. It was a great historic research tool. Disappeared in the last UI redesign, alas.)

    BTW, Lucinda Michele – I see your bio says you’re a 4th-generation Valley native. I’m impressed. I’ve never known anyone who was related to a city park before. :-)

    So, would I be correct in assuming that this was the old family homestead?

  6. Cool. :-)

    BTW, the house in the post shows up clearly in the 1932 USGS Topographic map of the area, which can be seen here.

    Hmm. I don’t think I have a map with the old Knapp home, though – all my historical maps with that level of detail are either pre-1912 or post-1926.

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