Category Archives: Van Nuys

Van Nuys City Hall

Valley Municipal BuildingValley Municipal BuildingValley Municipal BuildingValley Municipal Building

This Works Progress Administration project was completed in 1932.  The art deco, municipal offices were designed by Peter K. Schabarum who also designed notable structures such as the Greek Theater in Griffith Park, Fire Station No. 27, and the LAPD Training and Rec center in Elysian Park.  The design used Los Angeles City Hall as a model.  Though this municipal building is a smaller version of its model, coming in at a mere 8 stories compared to City Hall’s 32, it still stands out to the view seeker.

The Japanese Garden

Dry Garden, karesansuiDonald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant Administration Building               Stone Lantern                              Water Lily                              Stone LanternShoin BuildingThe Shoin Building

Unable to wait another minute, D.C. Tillman repeated his wife’s name until she awoke. “What!” she reacted.  “Honey, I’ve decided I’m going to build a Japanese garden in Van Nuys.”  “That’s nice,” she squeezed through her yawn.

Though I’ve invented this tale, it’s easy to believe this was the announcement of the garden’s invention because such a surreal environment feels nothing short of a midnight inspiration.

Either way, Tillman had decided and Dr. Koichi Kawana was hired to design the garden.  The designs were complete in 1970, but it wasn’t until 1979 that the city agreed to spend the 3 million dollars needed to complete the project.

D.C. Tillman is the former city engineer after whom the property’s water reclamation plant is named.  The plant recycles 25 Million Gallons per Day of reclaimed water.  Some of the recycled water is used in the Japanese Garden.

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Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve

Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve pathwayFishing at Sepulveda Basin Wildlife ReserveSepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve is fun on hammocksSepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve birds

When you’re hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains or the Angeles National Forest, you expect to see native plants.  The Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve is practically in the gut of the 101/405 interchange and still the potpourri of sage and mulefat overwhelms you as you approach this lake.

The wildlife… Birds overhead.  Birds poop on your head.  Birds, birds, everywhere!  And there are a lot of groups trying to keep it that way including Friends of the Sepulveda Basin, Friends of the Los Angeles River, and, to name a few.

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