Toluca Lake

Toluca Lake, a community within two communities, North Hollywood and Burbank, had its inception 76 years ago through efforts of a syndicate of Hollywood financiers and developers who named the development Toluca Lake Park. Due to other promotional undertakings, the original subdividers vacated their Toluca Lake Park tract office. M.A. "Andy" Vargo ("Mr. Toluca Lake"), who had been a salesman with the company, opened his own real estate office, and it was Vargo who was largely responsible for the later development of the community.

The area also is the setting for two picturesque lakes - the original one on the North Hollywood side the other in Burbank. Water originally came from springs from the outcropping of the Valley's water table. Today, water is supplied from wells at the lake's edges to maintain the lake level. The entire lake bottom was surfaced with four inches of asphalt concrete to stop water seepage.

The original boundaries of Toluca Lake were Cahuenga Boulevard, Clybourn Avenue, Camarillo Street and the Los Angeles River. Old timers zealously stick to these boundaries, and, in 1939, they were so included in the incorporation papers of the Toluca Lake Civic Association. Since then, other adjacent streets and areas have been included and are now associated with the Toluca Lake area.

The Lake is owned by home site owners surrounding its shores. To help maintain and keep it clean, the Toluca Lake Property Owners Association, a mutual non-profit corporation, was organized in 1934 at the instigation of Park French, a resident of Toluca Lake.

A residence on Toluca Lake is undoubtedly one of the most tranquil and picturesque home sites in the entire greater Los Angeles area. Well stocked with fish for angling enthusiasts, the lake is also used for private recreational boating and swimming. Hidden from public view by shore lined homes and the sprawling Lakeside Golf Club, the lake covers six acres, varying in width from 150 to 300 feet and in depth from 18 inches to 10 feet.

While the major portion of the lake spans the rolling green lawns of private residences, about one-third of the southeast shore forms part of the boundary of the Lakeside Golf Club.

The first home was built on Valley Spring Lane near the Lakeside Clubhouse and was later to become the home of Amelia Erhart, the famous aviatrix.

Among film stars who first came to make their homes in Toluca Lake were Richard Arlen, W.C. Fields, Bob Hope, Ann Blyth, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Mary Astor. The next generation were Zazu Pitts, Ruby Keeler, Wayne Morris, Frank McHugh and Rudy Valle. Then came Gene Autry, Jimmy Brown, Keeley Smith, Dana Andrews, William Holden, Jack Carson, Dorothy Lamour, Doris Day, Red Foxx, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Ozzie, Harriet, David and Ricky Nelson, Wendell Niles, Sr., Audie Murphy, Jim Nabors, Sandra Dee, Bobby Darin, David Janssen and Tex Ritter. Then John Ritter, Joe Campanella, Frankie Avalon, Fabian, Andy Griffith, Jonathan Winters, Mala Powers, Ken Berry, Jackie Joseph, Goldie Hawn, Denver Pyle, Garry Marshall, Paul Henning, Roger Perry and JoAnn Worley, James Garner, Angela Cartwright, Clint Howard, Donny and Marie Osmond, Robert Fuller, John Davidson, Linda Henning, Henry Winkler, Ron Howard, Dudley Moore, Alan Thicke, Swoosie Kurtz, Denzel Washington, Andy Garcia and others.

From the first business building - then a plumbing shop - the business community has grown into a row of fine shops, restaurants, medical and business offices, and exclusive specialty shops. This is Toluca Lake: a colorful community of dignity, charm and hospitality.

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