One of Southern California's earliest pioneers, Isaac Newton Van Nuys (1836-1912) first came to the San Fernando Valley in 1871, working with Isaac Lankershim, an even earlier California pioneer. At the time Lankershim and other investors owned the southern half of the San Fernando Valley, using it to raise sheep and wool. Then in 1873, Van Nuys and Lankershim's son James Boon Lankershim joined in, creating the Los Angeles Farming and Milling Co. After a severe drought in 1875, Van Nuys tried raising dry land wheat, with such success that by 1885 the company harvested more wheat than any other in the world. Among innovations to get to a world market was the installation of a toll road over the Santa Monica Mountains--today's I-405.
|I. N. Van Nuys ca. 1909|
In 1900, the newly built mansion had in residence, Isaac, Susanna, daughters Annis (known as Annie) and Kate, son James B., Susanna's mother Annis, and three servants.
|The area in 1909 |
(courtesy of memory.loc.gov)
Today of course it's very different, as the home of a Los Angeles police department station.
The view per Google Maps:
|1445 West 6th Street today|
But what happened to the house?
By the time of Isaac's passing in 1912, the fashionable areas of Los Angeles were moving west, especially along Wilshire Blvd. and north. By 1914 the family had decided to move, but widow Susanna could not bear to part with the house, which held many dreams and events for the family, including a recent wedding for daughter Kate. And so it was decided the house would be moved to a site in a new subdivision called Windsor Square. A contract was let, and the house was divided into several sections, and moved over three miles.
A view of the move on a map:
|The (probable) path for the move of the Van Nuys mansion|
(courtesy of Google maps)
Son James Benton was in charge of the move, but both he and mother Susanna kept their address at the Van Nuys building downtown. But in 1919 Susanna took residence in Santa Monica and J. Benton (as he now called himself) was at the house in Windsor Square.
Susanna passed away in 1923, and son J. Benton continued to live with his wife Emily, and family at 357 S. Lorraine Blvd. through 1942. By 1957 he moved to San Marino, and the new owner was Dr. Stuppy, MD. William Stuppy sold in 1998 to Lucy Dahl, daughter of author Roald Dahl.
The house (as of April 2016) is back on the market, offered for $8.9 Million. Below are some recent photos of the exterior (courtesy of Brad Jones):
|357 Lorraine -- Driveway Access|
|357 Lorraine -- Corner Entry|
|357 Lorraine -- East Portal|
More about the residence:
A 2012 Newsletter featuring the house
Thanks to DHM for starting me down the update path on this great house.