The Museum of the San Fernando Valley's Richard Hilton led a Van Nuys history tour, which began right at Van Nuys Boulevard and Sylvan Street. The first Daily News building sat not far from Van Nuys city Hall on Sylvan. The first church was just down the street on Tyrone.
The Museum of SFV's President, Gerry Fecht, who attended school in the neighborhood, remembered how Tyrone Street (parallel and one street over from Van Nuys Blvd.) would flood so badly from rains pouring down the mountains, he couldn't go to school and cars would be washed away.
We later walked west down Sylvan Street to what used to be Van Nuys Public Library. Gerry used to study there as a young student and told me he'd seen Jane Russell there, back in the day. The building, after years had become worn and dilapidated, was eventually purchased and renovated by lawyers Straussner & Sherman. Gerry and some of the others who remember the library as it once was seemed very impressed by the lawyers' renovations. It's beautiful. They even kept the wooden card index shelving.
Another highlight of the tour - meeting Luigi Dellaripa of Luigi's Tailoring. Originally from Naples, Italy, Luigi began working at the Sylvan Street shop in 1960 and has been working there ever since. He says business is doing well thanks to great reviews on Yelp.com. But the malls, of course, hurt his business. And now the city of Los Angeles isn't helping small business owners like Luigi by placing parking meters in front of all the shops - just another obstacle that keeps customers from businesses.
I'd give more detail, but I forgot to bring my pen and a pad. Better yet, attend an upcoming history Museum of San Fernando Valley tour. They're very knowledgeable about the Valley.