Our city is named after the unforgettable character " Tarzan Of The Apes," and is a tribute to his even more unforgettable creator - Edgar Rice Burroughs. After re-locating to Southern California in his early twenties, he began what he thought was a hobby, writing novels. His " Tarzan of the Apes" novels became so successful that in 1919, he was able to purchase a large ranch north of Los Angeles from General Harrison Gray Otis, was founder and publisher of the " Los Angeles Times." He named it Tarzana. The citizens of the community that sprung up around the ranch voted to adopt the name " Tarzana" when their town was incorporated in 1928.
The Tarzana Community Center Foundation was a non-profit organization formed by residents to preserve the tree-shaded southeast corner of Vanalden Avenue and Ventura Boulevard for use by the community. Owned by Public Storage at the time and leased to a fountain and statuary business, the commercial corner came up for sale. Residents were opposed to another commercial development in the area and wished to save the parklike ambiance.
As efforts to develop the property at the corner of Vanalden and Ventura Boulevard failed, first as a Public Storage site and later as a Sav-On and then a Bristol Farms, what was known as Helen's wild dream began to move from dream to reality.
In the spring 2000 issue of the Tarzana Property Owners Association Newsletter, TPOA president Helen Itria Norman wrote of her dream, admittedly improbable, in which Tarzana residents, compelled by generosity, community spirit, and a desire to improve quality of life for future generations, would purchase the property to preserve its beauty and create a community center where various groups could meet a center which would be available to the entire community and include a small museum to preserve Tarzana's wonderful history and unique cultural heritage.
It was the expression of this wild dream that led to the formation of the Tarzana Community Center Foundation in February 2000.