Street Names

For these streets the origins of the name could be traced with some authority. Sources include historical accounts and the 1988 compendium “Streets of Los Angeles” by Bernice Kimball of the City of Los Angeles Department of Engineering. Entries are alphabetical by type.

Boulevards

Brand Boulevard

Leslie Brand was a street car magnate and developer who lived in the Glendale area. He subdivided Mission Hills and connected it to Los Angeles with a street car line. Today’s Brand Boulevard follows the route of his car line.

Chandler Boulevard

Originally a leg of Sherman Way, it was renamed for land developer and Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler.

Foothill Boulevard

Portions have been known as Horsethief Trail, Michigan Avenue, Tujunga Valley Avenue and Mulholland Street.

Lankershim Boulevard

It was named for the town of Lankershim (first called Toluca, now North Hollywood) and its founding family. Isaac B. Lankershim grew wheat on a wide swath of the Valley floor.

Laurel Canyon Boulevard

Now named for the canyon in the Hollywood Hills, its segment in the flats was originally mapped as Pacoima Avenue.

Roscoe Boulevard

This name derives from the town of Roscoe, now Sun Valley. The thoroughfare originated as a plowed furrow that extended the length of the Valley and marked the boundary between the Lankershim Ranch on the south and the Maclay-Porter ranches on the north.

San Fernando Mission Boulevard

Originally called Stanford Avenue, after the former Gov. Leland Stanford who loaned the money for Charles Maclay to purchase the land to found San Fernando.

Sepulveda Boulevard

Once known as Saugus Avenue, it is named for the Sepulveda family of early Los Angeles.

Sesnon Boulevard

William T. Sesnon was the grandson of Benjamin F. Porter, whose ranch holdings became Northridge, Chatsworth and Porter Ranch.

Sunland Boulevard

Now a main link to Sunland, the stretch was once known as Hansen Street, named for Homer Hansen, who settled the community of Hansen Heights in the Verdugo Mountains.

Van Nuys Boulevard

Renamed from North Sherman Way as the main boulevard in the town of Van Nuys, which got its name from longtime Valley wheat farmer Isaac Newton Van Nuys.

Ventura Boulevard

The oldest continuously traveled route in the Valley. Laid out to follow a porion of the Spanish settlers’ famed El Camino Real, it has been known as Camino de las Virgenes, U.S. highway 101 and Ventura Road.

Victory Boulevard

Named in honor of the Valley’s World War I veterans in 1924. The segment west of Balboa Blvd. did not open until 1955.

Drives, ways, roads, places

De Celis Place

The DeCelis family owned a major share of the Valley from the 1840s to 1869 and leased the land to Andres and Pio Pico. The family sold off its last interest in 1874.

Don Pio Drive

Name is a reference to Don Pio Pico, the last Mexican governor of Alta California province. He at times controlled a large portion of the Valley floor. In 1869, Don Pio sold his half-interest to Isaac Lankershim, breaking up the once-giant Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando.

Edward Everett Horton Lane

Short street in Encino marks site of former Belly Acres estate of actor Horton, who served as the longtime “honorary governor” of the Valley.

Hollywood Way

This boulevard connected Burbank with the shortcut to Hollywood through Dark Canyon, now Barham Boulevard.

Mulholland Drive

This winding ridgeline road in the Santa Monica Mountains was dedicated in honor of William Mulholland, the water engineer who designed the Los Angeles Aqueduct, on Dec. 27, 1924. Originally dirt and called Mulholland Highway, the name was changed to Mulholland Drive in 1939. Portions of the original road remain unpaved.

San Fernando Road

It was graded across the barren eastern edge of the Valley in the 1870s for use by wagons hauling ore between San Fernando and Los Angeles.

Sherman Way

Named for Moses H. Sherman, a major land developer in the southern half of the Valley. Opened for traffic in 1912, it originally included segments of the thoroughfares known today as Chandler and Van Nuys boulevards, and it was the major east-west highway across the Valley. The name is never shortened on second reference; it is always spoken as Sherman Way.

Whitnall Highway

Named for Gordon Whitnall, a former Los Angeles city director of planning. The unusual divided street was laid out in 1927 to be part of a parkway network designed to connect the Valley’s scattered communities, but the plan was never executed.

Streets and avenues

Amestoy Avenue

The Basque immigrant Amestoys were the last family to own and work the historic Encino rancho. They sold off a large portion for subdivision into the town of Encino.

Andasol Avenue

It is believed to a derivation of the Spanish term for a sun walk. Its first segment was paved in Granada Hills between Mayerling and Kalisher streets in 1926.

Bassett Street

Named for original property owner Theophilia E. Bassett.

Bradley Avenue

Samuel H. Bradley was a civil service commissioner from 1917 to 1919.

Chase Street

Named for A.S. Chase.

Chatsworth Street

The western portion used to be known as Ben Porter Avenue, for the owner of the rancho across whose land the road passed. For a time, the portion near Zelzah Ave. was named Santa Susana Pass Road.

Coldwater Canyon Avenue

The stretch in the Valley was Diaz Avenue until 1937.

Corbin Avenue

Named after W. H. Corbin, a Valley grain dealer. It had been Pine Avenue until 1917.

Devonshire Street

Renamed for the Devonshire area of Britain, after beginning life in 1917 as Santa Susana Pass Road. Devonshire Street was designated State Highway 118 before completion of the Simi Valley Freeway.

Donmetz Street

The owner of the land in 1954 was Donald Metz.

Forbes Avenue

Named for Valley farmer Fred G. Forbes

Fullerfarm Street

The Fuller Poultry Colony was located east of Zelzah Avenue and south of Devonshire Street in the 1920s.

Fulton Avenue

Named for Walter M. Fulton, a local resident in 1917.

Gentry Avenue

The name came from Clyde W. Gentry in 1923.

Harding Street

Henry Harding was the surveyor for the original subdivision of San Fernando.

Harps Street

Named for Jacob Harps, the first builder in San Fernando.

Hartsook Street

Fred Hartsook was a photographer and rancher near the town of Lankershim.

Haskell Avenue

Two versions: Arnold D. Haskell was secretary to Moses Sherman and founder of the M.H. Sherman Foundation. Or, named for John Haskell, a farmer in the area in 1916.

Hayvenhurst Avenue

Hayvenhurst was the estate of Encino subdivider William Hamilton Hay. The street’s northern end was originally mapped as Pico Avenue.

Kester Avenue

Kester Ranch was a major wheat-growing concern—part of the Lankershim-Van Nuys empire—from the 1870s to 1909.

Lanark Street

Lanark is a town in central Scotland.

Langdon Avenue

Dr. Frederick Langdon served on the Los Angeles City Council from 1911 to 1923.

Lassen Street

Named after the Northern California county where Lassen National Park is located.

Lederer Avenue

Named for the actor Francis Lederer, longtime honorary mayor of Canoga Park.

Lemay Street

George A. Lemay lived in the Valley in 1923.

Lindley Avenue

Named for Joseph P. Lindley.

Lull Street

This is named for Linford Lull.

Maclay Avenue

Charles Maclay, town builder and former state Senator, founded San Fernando.

Mason Avenue

Named for Azubeth H. Mason in 1917.

Matilija Avenue

Name is from a Chumash Indian rancheria in Ventura County, and is Chumash for poppy.

Mayall Street

Named in 1924 after surveyor Robert Mayall.

Melvin Avenue

Named for property owner Daniel Melvin in 1924.

Monogram Avenue

Named for Monogram Home Builders in 1951.

Moorpark Street

Moorparks are an English variety of apricot, a popular crop in early North Hollywood. Name changed from Second Street in 1917.

Noeline Avenue

Name came from the family of Juanita Amestoy and Simon Gless, owners of the Amestoy Rancho.

Nordhoff Street

Named for famed 19th-century health seeker and writer Charles Nordhoff.

Orion Avenue

Named in 1917 for an encampment of the International Order of Odd Fellows.

Osborne Street

Henry Osborne was a city public works commissioner in 1917-1923 and publisher of the L.A. Evening Express.

Oso Avenue

Oso is the Spanish word for bear.

Otis Avenue

Designated in 1950 for the former property owner, Gen. Harrison Gray Otis, the late owner of the Los Angeles Times. After his death in 1917, his Mil Flores ranch south of today’s Ventura Boulevard sold to the adventure writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, who christened it Tarzana Ranch. Burroughs dug what was believed to be the first residential swimming pool in the Valley and later founded the community of Tarzana.

Oxnard Street

Named for Henry T. Oxnard, sugar beet magnate in the Ventura County area. Name dates from 1916, when Valley was developing into a major beet producer.

Owensmouth Avenue

Owensmouth, designed to evoke an image of being at the mouth of the distant Owens River, was the original name of the settlement that grew into the town of Canoga Park.

Parthenia Street

Named for Miss Parthenia Staton of Lafayette Park, Calif. in 1916, when it opened between Van Nuys Blvd. and Kester Ave.

Pass Avenue

At one time the name for Barham Boulevard that linked Burbank to Cahuenga Pass. The Barham leg was also known on some maps as Hollywood Way.

Paxton Street

Paxton was the family name of Catherine Paxton Lloyd, the wife of Charles Maclay.

Petit Avenue

Named for William J. Petit, a farmer along the Los Angeles River in Encino. The original segment of the street went south from Ventura Boulevard to the Encino Country Club.

Platt Avenue

George E. Platt was a Los Angeles dairyman for whom the Platt Ranch was named.

Plummer Street

John Plummer owned a ranch along the street near Sepulveda Boulevard.

Raymer Street

Raymer was the name of a station opened in 1898 on the Southern Pacific rail line across the Valley.

Rinaldi Street

It formed the southern boundary of a ranch owned by Carl R. Rinaldi, a 19th-century citrus grower in the area that became Granada Hills and Mission Hills.

Runnymede Street

Runnymede Farms operated large poultry-breeding colonies in the areas known today as Reseda and Tarzana.

Shoup Avenue

Paul Shoup was vice president of the Southern Pacific Railroad and president of the Pacific Electric Railway Co.

Sophia Avenue

Named in 1947 for the land owner, Sophia Borakott.

Stonehurst Avenue

It was the main route into the community of boulder homes known as Stonehurst, in today’s community of Sun Valley.

Tampa Avenue

Origin unknown, but it was first called Maple Avenue south of Roscoe Blvd.

Truman Street

Named for Benjamin Truman, 19th-century writer and Los Angeles newspaperman who hyped the promise of San Fernando.

Tujunga Avenue

Runs alongside Tujunga Wash.

Tupper Street

Named in 1916 for the land owner H.C. Tupper.

Vanowen Street

Coined because it was the direct route across the Valley between the towns of Van Nuys and Owensmouth.

Vincennes Street

Named in 1917 after the town in central France.

Weddington Street

The Weddingtons were a pioneer family in the town of Lankershim, now North Hollywood.

Whitsett Avenue

William P. Whitsett, rememberted as the “father of Van Nuys,” was a major land developer and water official in Los Angeles. The street was first known as Encino Avenue.

Wilkinson Avenue

R.H. Wilkinson was a land developer in 1923.

Winnetka Avenue

Named for the community of Winnetka, founded by former residents of the Weeks Poultry Colony.

Woodley Avenue

Frank A. Woodley was a county supervisor and state legislator. Laid out as Alvarado Avenue north of Roscoe Blvd. in 1916.

Woodman Avenue

Named for the Woodman Ranch in 1917, after being called Castro Avenue. There was a mayor of Los Angeles named Woodman in the same period.

Zelzah Avenue

This was part of the 19th-century wagon route from San Fernando to the Hawk Ranch, which became the town of Zelzah, now Northridge.

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