Wrap up: Sunland-Tujunga

By Colleen Horn, Intern Architectural Historian,  Page & Turnbull

It took most of the summer and fall, but Page & Turnbull (P&T) has completed its field survey work identifying historic buildings in Sunland, Tujunga, Shadow Hills, Lake View Terrace and La Tuna Canyon for Year 1, Phase 1 of SurveyLA. While buildings were the focus, P&T surveyors were also thoroughly entertained by the local animals, including horses, coyotes, a kangaroo and peacocks (yes, a kangaroo). Despite the distractions from feathered friends, P&T managed to document the historic built environment in Sunland-Tujunga. The process included:

  1. Reconnaissance– driving every street and highlighting potential historic buildings  and districts on maps;
  2. Research– tracking down information on buildings, people and events significant to patterns of history;
  3. Survey and documentation– photographing and recording the historic resources, followed by more research and data verification.

While density is lower in Sunland-Tujunga than in other areas of the city, survey teams found a high concentration of interesting resources. Here are some highlights:

  • Winding along McGroarty Street, named after famed poet John S. McGroarty, under the shade of aged trees and Spanish Colonial Revival houses
  • Arroyo stone terracing, walls, ruins and buildings
  • Layers of history at Sunland Park, including arroyo stone retaining walls and the Sunland Recreation Center added on to Sunland Park in 1940
  • The variety of historic buildings along Foothill Boulevard from Lake View Terrace through Tujunga- everything from 19th century farmhouses to Mid-Century Modern Googie coffee joints.
  • California Craftsman and Ranch houses galore
  • Horses, barns, stables and wood fences
  • A residence by famed Los Angeles architect, John Lautner
  • A residence by famed Los Angeles architect, Pierre Koenig
  • A collection of  Mid-Century Modern style homes near Haines Canyon Road
  • A historic Sanatorium now used as a nursing hospital on Foothill Boulevard
  • The eclectic revival architecture of a restaurant called Villa Terraza
  • The Apperson Street School, an award winning Mid-century Modern style elementary school designed by Maynard Lyndon

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