Van Nuys is a neighborhood in the central San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California. Home to Van Nuys Airport and the Valley Municipal Building, it is the most populous neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley.
In 1909, the Suburban Homes Company – a syndicate led by Hobart Johnstone Whitley, general manager of the board of control, along with Harry Chandler, H. G. Otis, M. H. Sherman and O. F. Brandt – purchased 48,000 acres of the Farming and Milling Company for $2.5 million. Henry E. Huntington extended his Pacific Electric Railway (Red Cars) through the Valley to Owensmouth (now Canoga Park). The Suburban Home Company laid out plans for roads and the towns of Van Nuys, Reseda (Marian) and Canoga Park (Owensmouth). The rural areas were annexed into the city of Los Angeles in 1915.
The town was founded in 1911 and named for Isaac Newton Van Nuys, a rancher, entrepreneur and one of its developers. It was annexed by Los Angeles on May 22, 1915, after completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, providing it with the water required for further growth. Van Nuys was the first new stop on the San Fernando Line of the Pacific Electric Railway red cars system, which boosted its early land sales and commercial success. From as far as Alhambra, in 1917, day trips were organized for potential buyers of five-acre farms.
Van Nuys became the Valley's satellite Los Angeles municipal civic center with the 1932 Art Deco Valley Municipal Building (Van Nuys City Hall), a visual landmark and Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, starting the present-day Government Center complex of government services buildings.
In 1991, Marvin Braude, a member of the Los Angeles City Council, redesignated a 45-block area of Van Nuys as a part of Sherman Oaks. This redesignated area included the community of Magnolia Woods.