4 Replies to “Archiving Angeles (AA): Old Town Lankershim”

  1. Did it twice. Dang. Once more, with feeling:


    It was the movie studios – first, Carl Laemmle’s Universal Pictures, and, later, Mack Sennett and Al Christie’s new Central Motion Picture District facility – called “Studio City” (which today is the CBS Studio Center) – that first started referring to the area as “North Hollywood”, because they didn’t want to admit that their films weren’t actually being made in Hollywood.

    When developers began building new housing in the area surrounding the new studios, all the publicity for the new developments also referred to the area as “North Hollywood.”

    At that point, the town fathers of Lankershim, fearful of being overlooked in all the publicity, decided to change the name of their town (which was originally called “Toluca” when it was first developed in the 1880s) to “North Hollywood”.

    The Lankershim Laconic, the local newspaper, editorialized in favor of the name change, saying:

    By co-operating with these these builders and bringing the mighty magic name of Hollywood into this section, a period of development and prosperity will settle over this section never before witnessed. These capitalists and picture magnates do not want to lose the name of Hollywood, and all their transactions and publicity has to do with North Hollywood.

    If the change is not made, Lankershim will be lost and ignored as a place on the map. The new developers will out-shadow the development done in the immediate vicinity by their North Hollywood publicity. United, the whole district will advance under one banner – North Hollywood. Then in a few years, it will all melt into a greater Hollywood with the “north” prefix disappearing.

    Of course, despite the name change, that didn’t actually happen.

    In an ironic twist, the areas the developers had been calling “North Hollywood” eventually became known as “Studio City” and “Toluca Lake”, (and Laemmle’s studio renamed its property “Universal City”).

    Those newly-built “streetcar suburbs” prospered, while the old horse-and-buggy downtown of Lankershim/North Hollywood slid into urban decay and blight – which the 30-year-long CRA NoHo Arts District redevelopment project hasn’t yet entirely reversed.

  2. Wow.. so the left hand side is still there, although the facade of the theater and associated buildings has changed. The bank building is still there even if it stands empty since they didn’t re-open Bank Heist.

    The right side though.. well, that’s a bit different now isn’t?

  3. nothing pertaining to this post in particular, but I just wanted to say that I always love the Archiving Angeles posts.

  4. Like, Drew, I noticed the Bank building and the area where El Portal now stands. It looks like there were some beautiful trees where the How’s is (was).

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