"Sociological Succesion..." Panorama City by tardemalynunca

Panorama City Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 4 photos

Post War suburbia 1949

Panorama City is a suburb of Los Angeles that capitalized on the newly available cheap water of the 1940's as foretold by the movie "China Town".

The San Fernando Valley was to become one of the great population centers for Los Angeles. This made it attractive for large manufacturing industrial centers such as General Motors, Lockheed, Hughes Aircraft and Anheuser Busch.

The area came to epitomize what might be called a mass-industrial approach to community building. Announced in 1945 by land developer Fritz B. Burns and industrialist Henry J. Kaiser, Panorama City was envisioned as a grand venture to build tens of thousands of mass-produced homes on the West Coast.

By the standards of the time, Panorama City was state of the art. To reduce the monotony of such a large tract, Burns curved the streets, altered rooflines, varied the placement of garages, and used vibrant colors. These were tracts that were meant to be more than collections of homes; they included schools, playgrounds, churches, a Kaiser Permanente hospital, a movie theater and a bowling alley.

Like so much of the Valley, Panorama City reached its height in the 1950s. It boasted a booming shopping district with 100-plus shops including several major department stores such as Broadway, Robinson's, Montgomery Ward, and Orbach's—and eighteen acres of parking lots.

The houses built in Panorama City were designed to be homes with minimum floor plans at affordable prices. Therefore, veterans and others could find gainful employment, become homeowners, and locate their families in a "total community."

Although the houses were based on minimum floor plans, Burns argued for a variety in unit prices ‘to provide a varied community atmosphere and to prevent un-American economic and social stratification.

  • Last visit to Panorama City: Nov 2001
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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