Resource Description

Resource Summary

Magnolia & Whitsett Commercial Historic District (Primary)
Resource Types
Important Dates
No dates recorded
Keywords (Subjects)
Great Depression
Post World War II
Period Revival
Tudor Revival

Location Information

Location Description
No descriptions recorded
Administrative Areas
North Hollywood - Valley Village Community Plan Area (Community Plan Area)
Los Angeles City Council District 2 (Council District)


Type: Commerical District
Related Features
No features recorded

Resource Descriptions

General Description
The Magnolia and Whitsett Commercial Historic District is a block-long commercial corridor on both sides of Magnolia Avenue between Whitsett Avenue and Wilkinson Avenue, in the Valley Village area of North Hollywood. It contains five buildings and includes one individually eligible building, the Valley Photo Service building at the southeast corner of Magnolia and Whitsett. There are five buildings within the historic district boundaries; of these, 80% are contributors to the historic district. The historic district is located within a regular street grid on the flat floor of the San Fernando Valley, at an intersection bordering developments of single-family homes dating from the late 1930s to 1950s. Developed between 1934 and 1953, the historic district's buildings are one story, with uniform setbacks from the street and entries flush with the sidewalk. Their storefronts have fixed display windows. One two-story building is present, a multi-family residence located along Wilkinson and attached to the commercial building on the north side of Magnolia. The buildings were designed in a commercial interpretation of the Tudor Revival style, with side- and cross-gabled roofs; stucco and cut stone cladding; half timbering in gables; decorative corbels, chimneys, and bargeboards; gabled and rounded vent dormers; and gabled overhangs over some entries. The post office building (originally a grocery store) features a large stucco parapet with a prominent turret on each end. Decorative elements on the buildings create a fantasy-storybook-village feel and cohesiveness within the commercial historic district.

Summary of Significance
The Magnolia and Whitsett Commercial Historic District is significant as an excellent example of a 1930s-1950s neighborhood commercial center in Valley Village. The Magnolia-Whitsett Commercial Historic District represents an important pattern of commercial development in Valley Village. It is a neighborhood commercial corridor with accommodations for the automobile, but the small, pedestrian-friendly scale of the buildings within the historic district reflects its close association with the surrounding residential areas. The historic district developed contemporaneously to nearby residential development. The historic district's period of significance is 1934 to 1953, corresponding with its period of development. Of the five buildings within the historic district boundary four buildings (80%) are contributors to the historic district. This historic district is a cohesive commercial development on Magnolia and has experienced relatively few alterations; they include signage replacement, installation of security doors, some window and door replacement, addition of glass brick, and some recladding. The historic district is a rare San Fernando Valley example of a commercial development in the Tudor Revival style with fantasy decorative elements, demonstrating the popularity of whimsical architectural styles for commercial developments in the 1930s. The Magnolia and Whitsett Commercial Historic District was built in two phases, one during the Great Depression and one after World War II. The building on the north side of the street is the earliest in the historic district, dating to 1934. Those on the south side were built between 1949 and 1953, illustrating the expansion of commercial development associated with postwar population growth in the area. The Foodtime Market grocery store, located in the turreted building now occupied by the Valley Village post office, was the largest business in the historic district and operated from 1949 until sometime in the late 1960s. Valley Photo Service, individually eligible under the Commercial Identity theme of the Commercial Development Context, has occupied the same location, at the southeast corner of Whitsett and Magnolia, since 1952 and features a mural along its Whitsett facade. This commercial historic district has been continuously occupied by retail and service businesses since it was developed. It is a rare intact example of a 1930s-1950s neighborhood commercial historic district, notable for its retention of its original scale, massing, form, and materials.

External System References

SurveyLA ID: 75c9916a-4548-4137-bd93-eb539a9649b3

Resource Significance

Evaluation Details

Date Evaluated
Commercial Development, 1850-1980
Neighborhood Commercial Development, 1875-1960
Neighborhood Commercial Centers, 1875-1960
Neighborhood/Village Commercial Center
Eligibility Standards
  • Was developed primarily during the period of significance
  • A significant concentration of commercial, institutional and/or residential buildings located within a neighborhood or village center representing important patterns in commercial development, property types and architecture
  • Because of variations in the type throughout L.A., specific eligibility standards for each to be identified at time of survey
  • Includes a substantial concentration of intact small-scale buildings which form the commercial center for a neighborhood or community
  • Property type encompasses major east/west, north/south boulevards and avenues throughout Los Angeles, some of which cover the entire city
  • Should retain integrity of Location, Feeling, Design and Association from the period of significance
  • May include commercial, residential and institutional property types
  • May be linear and located along a single street or encompass several blocks
  • May have some buildings significant within themes relating to Streetcar and Auto-Related Commercial Development and the Pre-Annexation Communities context
  • One or more segments of the resource may be significant (may comprise more than one district)
  • Integrity Aspects
    Retains sufficient integrity to convey significance
    California Historic Resources Status Codes (explanation of codes)
    Significance Statement
    Excellent example of an early, low-scale commercial center along Magnolia Blvd, providing services and retail stores for adjacent, contemporary residential suburban development.
    Periods of Significance
    From: 1934-01-01
    To: 1953-12-31

    Related Resources

    Related Historic Resources

    5211 N WILKINSON AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    12466 W MAGNOLIA BLVD (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    Valley Photo Service (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    12466 W MAGNOLIA BLVD (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)

    Related Historic Districts


    Related Activities


    Related Historic Events


    Related People/Organizations

    Architectural Resources Group (Surveying Firm, was surveyed by / surveyed)

    Related Information Resources

    SurveyLA: North Hollywood-Valley Village Historic Resources Survey Report (Document/Text, is referred to in / refers to)